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From the German By CLARA BELL
WILLIAM S. GOTTSBERGER, PUBLISHER
11 MURRAY STREET
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Dearly beloved reader, permit me to lead the
way into a house in Berlin, across the court- yard,
and up to the third floor, into a room in which,
you feel at once, without any help of mine, what
sort of a man it belongs to. If four walls covered
with prints and photographs from the most famous
pictures in the world — if a dozen plaster-casts
from the antique — if bas-reliefs, statuettes, port-
folios, fragments of carving and artistic *' proper-
ties " of every description crowding every square
inch of space — if the impossibility of stirring
without doing some mischief among all this deco-
rative lumber can suffice to prove to you that their
owner is a dilettante in art, a single glance will be
enough. A man so clever as I take you to be,
will discern at the second glance that he has a
particular predilection for Raphael's earlier Ma-
donnas as well as for Rembrandt's etchings ; from
2 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
which you may venture to conclude that two
Spirits rule his mind : one which yearns for the
tender grace of the South, while the other has the
sombre humor of the North.
If you will now step out on to the balcony,
which has been very tastefully turned into a little
garden, but from which the marauding sparrows
and pigeons fly in positive terror the instant the
latch of the window is touched, you may further
infer that the absent proprietor loves flowers and
hates birds. The image of a very eccentric per-
sonage rises before your fancy and as you look
into the room again and perceive that, though it
is still early twilight, all the gas is lighted and a
dozen tapers to boot, you understand that he has
a passion for ample illumination. Now look at
the chimney-piece and you will understand that
this lover of light must be a man of strong natural
affections ; for there — a most unaesthetical senti-
mental break in the artistic decoration of the room
— behold a long row of small photographs in vul-
gar frames : worthy but utterly commonplace old
men and old women, in garments of unfashion-
able cut ; children with their mouths puckered up
ready for a whimper, and held in the arms of un-
speakably proud and plain mammas ; a few pretty
comfortable-looking dames in caps (these, you
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 3
think, he must have loved but they married other
men) and lastly a few groups of young men, with
boldly-tied cravats and a perfectly inspired growth
of hair ; these likenesses have dedicatory inscrip-
tions. " To his dear Master," "To his FridoHn,'*
and so on.
Who is this Fridolin ? One more investigating
glance, at a calendar hanging on the door, will re-
veal him to you. The days of the week are colored
in turn, red, blue, and green ; only the Sundays
are left white. Against a saint's day here and
there you see written, in a minute professorial
hand : " 4 to 5,'' or " % to 6.'* This settles the
question. You are sure now that this bitter-sweet
dilettante, who seems to love method and his fel-
low-men and light and flowers, while he does not
love birds, is a Professor of Art whom his devoted
but flippant disciples call ** Fridolin," who lives in
his favorite ideals and whom it might be very
pleasant to know — provided one were not a
And so, without my having had to tell you any-
thing about him, simply and solely by the acute-
ness of your own intuition, you have conjured up
for yourself a fairly distinct idea of this man, and
spared me the effort which so often makes the nar-
rator a terror to his reader : that namely of be-
4 FRIDOLIN^S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
wildering your brain with a tedious and circum-
At the same time I must warn you that you
are in error if, made bold by success, you try to
picture his personal appearance and embody the
sum total of these gentle qualities in a pale and
elegant being with thin, beardless lips, a voiceless
smile and modest retiring manners. Yes — mis-
taken — for you can have no idea of the trick
Nature played him. Quite the reverse ! The
clock is striking five and in he comes — a radiant
creature, rather like Count Egmont with a splen-
did light beard, and a thick Apollo-like curl on
his forehead ; a large nose which the judicious
stars that watched over him stayed in its growth
at precisely the right moment ; broad shoulders
and a deep chest. He glances round, that noble
nose seems to scent mischief, it curls, it sniffs sus-
piciously, and above it appears a deep and sinister
line of command which has its duplicate over his
gracefully twisted moustache. He shakes his wav-
ing locks, he stamps his foot, he marches majesti-
cally to the bell and rings so violently that the
bell-pull curtsies to the carpet. Again he pulls —
then he stands and waits. Who is the victim to
his fury ? It must be dangerous to appear in the
presence of this indignant Egmont — unless for
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 5
the Duke of Alva himself. How came this lover
of flowers and Madonnas to put on such a face
and form ? Can you, most sapient of readers,
have made some mistake ? We must wait till some
one comes. — Dame Therese Ritter appears.
A tall woman with a tall snow-white cap, and
hair already turning grey, but with a remarkably
fresh-colored, pleasant and good-humored coun-
" You rang ?" says she, in a no less pleasant
and good-humored voice, while she looks at him
gently but quite composedly.
"You found that out did you!" he retorts.
" Yes my dear — I did ring. I rang because you
never as long as you live will think of having
anything done that I desire. Why has not this
room been fumigated ? You know I hate this
confounded smell of coal-smoke — that it makes
me sick. — Why do you neglect me ? Why do
you not do as I ask you ?'*
" I do not neglect you," replied the good
woman gently. ** I always does as you asks me ;
and I will fumigate your room."
" Always do — not does. Does for the third
person do for the first," he corrected her.
" I always do," she repeated timidly.
"Yes — you will fumigate it now. Now —
6 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
when it is too late. Do you know I shall have to
go out again at once ? When you say so blandly :
* I will fumigate your room/ does it strike you
that I shall have to go away ?"
" I know all about that Professor," she said
with a satisfied smile. " And I will fumigate it
all the same, for you are sure to come back
" Upon my word — but you know too much
dame Know-all. What leads your wisdom to
conclude that I shall not go to some party when
the lecture is over or to see some one, instead of
coming back to this sooty stinkosphere ?"
" Because you have not done your necktie in
a large company knot, but in a little bow, as you
wear it at home ; and because you have got on
your grey satin waistcoat and you always come
home again when you have that on."
" What a very remarkable waistcoat ! A waist-
coat in which I am bound to come home. And
all my other twenty waistcoats are different. In
those twenty I suppose I never come home at
Frau Ritter colored faintly and then she
smiled. ** Of course I said it stupidly," she re-
plied, "but you know what I mean and you
know I am right."
FRIDOUN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. ^
" Mark the day with red chalk — the day
when j^ou were right ! It is a great event in your
life. The twentieth of March — never forget it.
Very good, then, most judicious of women — you
will fumigate the room and I will go ; but first
you will permit me to fumigate myself that I may
not take the smell with which you have regaled
me here, about with me as a souvenir. I prom-
ised my audience to discourse of the fine arts, not
to introduce them to foul vapors." And as he
spoke he took up a bottle of Eau de Cologne —
there was one on each table — and plentifully be-
dewed his grey satin waistcoat, his shirt front,
and the Olympian curl on his forehead.
" Then you have no further orders ?** asked
Frau Ritter without moving a muscle; she
seemed used to this sort of tirade. The professor
went close up to her with his hands behind his
back and poking his face so close to hers that
they almost touched he said with a dry emphasis
on each syllable : " No — you may go now."
She went, noiselessly and silently in her felt
slippers. The door closed gently behind her ; the
storm was over. The professor stood looking at
the door ; the lines in his forehead deepened ; he
did not seem quite satisfied that it should have
blown over so quickly. He went to a shelf built
8 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
into the wall of the room, took his hat and was on
the point of putting it on; but after stepping
across the room he set it down again on the
piano. He glanced at the bell-rope as though
minded to renew the unfinished contest with Frau
Ritter ; but he caught sight of the clock and took
his hat in his hand once more. Then, before
opening the door he stopped to read a motto
written on a piece of paper below the calendar.
*^ Fridoline / Ne unquam immemor sis te philoso-
phum esse,'' In English : " Fridolin, never forget
at all times to behave with philosophy."
" With philosophy," he muttered.
The door was thrown open. He had thought
that he . heard Frau Ritter*s step, and had com-
posed his face to an expression of sublime Olym-
pian calm ; but his ears had deceived him. A
pair of noiseless slippers it is true came towards
him, but they bore a manly form. — A tall ashy-
pale man with grey-sandy hair, in a dark grey
dressing-gown. His shoulders were as narrow
and sloping as the professor's were broad and
square ; his long hair was stroked away behind
his ears, his dim grey eyes, with their dreamy
outlook, had a twilight effect under the projecting
brows. This lank personage said nothing; he
only nodded to the other but he came towards
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 9
him with a few heavy shuffling steps and held out
a large hand.
The professor took it in equal silence, and then
stooped to pick up a little leather case which his
visitor's dressing-gown had swept off one of the
tables as he slouched across the room.
" Again — have I . . . ?'* asked the tall man
with a look of dismay.
*' Yes, again. — This little case. For the sixth
time my dear brother."
" Oh dear !— Broken ?"
" No. Leather cases do not break."
" This luckless room ! — Must the leather case
lie just there ?"
"Yes, it must."
The tall man looked at the case ; then he
** With your leave," he said, " I cannot help
remarking that I cannot imagine what you want
** There is a higher need for things, my dear
Philip, than for mere commonplace daily use."
" But this case," continued the other, " is not
a gentleman's case, so far as I can discover."
" No — it is a lady's case."
" Then what can you want it for ?"
lO FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
** I have it near me. I can see it. It is a
*' A souvenir !" said the tall man in a softened
voice ; and he said no more. He fixed his eyes
dreamily on the pocket-book — through it — be-
yond it — into a remote distance. Then he
slowly closed them, as though to suppress and
hide the feeling they might betray. At last he
took it up and nodded to it with a slow melan-
choly gesture, as though the *' souvenir" con-
cerned him, and then he waved it up and down at
arm's length. The professor did not disturb him
in his cogitations.
'* Fridolin," he said at last, seeing that the
professor had put on his hat and was leaving the
"Adieu, my son — I must be off."
*' To be sure — you must be off. I had some-
thing to say to you."
** It must keep till I return."
'* When you return your young men will be
here, your body-guard, your disciples in art, and
then I cannot talk to you as a brother to a brother.
One minute, Fridolin ! Have you just one min-
" I have just two to spare," said Fridolin, look-
ing at the clock.
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. II
. " I have reconsidered the whole question " —
and the tall man, as he spoke, tried to laugh — ** I
am quite sure of myself now. I shall give up the
remainder of my leave. To-morrow morning I
shall start — I am only a burden to you."
"You are whatf Fridolin involuntarily
turned back as if to hear better. " You are a born
idiot," he added emphatically.
" In the first place there is Judica," Brother
Philip went on calmly in his husky matter-of-fact
tones, while he still fidgeted with the leather case.
" You say the child amuses you. Thank you for
that. Yes — perhaps she is an amusing child.
But she is a spoilt child — a motherless child. ..."
Again he was silent, and even without looking at
him a listener could have guessed that it was an
inconsolable widower that spoke.
"Well, we have found a governess for her
— a kind of mother in one way at any rate,"
" Then, in the second place, there would be
the governess," Philip went on, pursuing the thread
of his argument. " We do not even know her ;
she might be amusing too — she might be the re-
verse. Now you are the most devoted admirer of
the fair sex when they — when they — well when
you take a fancy to them ; but you hate them like
12 fridolin's mystical marriage.
spiders when they bore you. Shall I stay here to
have to say the day after to-morrow : * He hates
my Judica's governess like a spider and it is I who
dropped the spider into his snuggery ?'*
" For all that I must go/* said Fridolin, look-
ing again at the clock.
"Then, in the third place there is myself/'
continued Philip, who was too much absorbed in
his subject to heed any interruption. *' A wretched
piece of humanity who has lost his little all of life
and joy — a miserable ruin. In every way the very
opposite to you. This very opposition interests
and excites you, you say. Thank you for that.
But what a heavy price you pay for that interest,
Fridolin ! You had your roomy bachelor lodg-
ings all to yourself, and were as comfortable as a
Prince — now you have to sleep in your study. . ."
** Under the protection of Apollo !" cried Fri-
dolin, pointing to a cast of the Apollo Belvedere
which, standing on a plinth in one corner of the
room, towered above the bed.
" Even before that it was always a question to
me whether I could walk across your room with-
out breaking the neck of one of your casts ; now,
it is an unsolved riddle why every morning and
every evening some fresh victim is not damaged
or slain. And for what are you making all this
fridolin's mystical marriage. 13
sacrifice ? Because, as you say, you want to
* save ' me ; because you wished to bring me for
a change from my desolate nest ; to cheer and to
amuse me. But you cannot save me, Fridolin. I
am still young you say ? But you cannot cheer
and amuse me. You will see — I am past cheer-
ing and amusing ; there is nothing to be done for
** I shall do both — but now I must be gone."
** Then, in the fourth place, there is my un-
lucky disposition to take everything seriously, to
discuss everything, to resent all contradiction —
you are really going? — Then I will go with
** Put on a hat then.''
" Yes, I will put on my hat,'* — he went to the
piano but instead of a hat he took up Fridolin's
red fez, and without stirring another step, he went
on : — " my unfortunate and incurable bad habit
of maintaining my own opinion with the stubborn-
ness of a mule, roughly and even rudely ; a habit
of which you would be the last man to cure me
because your vehemence and heat always rub me
the wrong way. ..."
" A quarter past five !" cried Fridolin, passing
into the other room to get off at last.
" This very afternoon," Philip continued, " I
14 fridolin's mystical marriage.
again allowed myself to be tempted into very un-
brotherly violence ; because in this unhappy con-
test between the Church and State you choose to
assume that the despotism of an overbearing min-
" An overbearing ministry ?*' cried Fridolin ;
** my dear Philip, I could tell you things — ^bring
confuting evidence — if it were not that I must
go. . . .
" What could you say that I did not disprove
point by point this very afternoon ? What argu-
ment could you bring to undermine the perfectly
justifiable detestation which every man of good
feeling and conscientious judgment, every man of
deep and sacred convictions must feel for the
audacious presumption of secular force. . . . ?"
" Presumption ? Secular force ?" Fridolin re-
turned a few steps. " Presumption ? In us ? In
the State ? Our tolerant, humane, moderate,
benevolent government ? Why, you clericals do
not know it — no nor yourselves either; you
choose to be blind, and you are blind ; there is
nothing to be done for you ?"
*' And pray why not ? Why is there nothing
to be done for us ? Because we are not impressed
by the precocious knowingness, the absurd con-
ceit, the fussy pomposity of your superior govern-
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 5
ment" — Fridolin, who had gone on a little way,
stood still again. "Because we have a higher
ideal than you, is there nothing to be done for us ?
Because we find the interference of an omniscient
State in Church matters absolutely unendura-
" In what Church, and what concern of yours
is the Church ? Because you wear a Protestant
pastor's cassock is it any business of yours to stand
up for the Pope and his infallibility ? — By Jupiter,
I must go !*' He had reached the outer door, and
Philip at the same time had shuffled into the
" I stand up for his infallibility ! Who dares
to say that I stand up for the Pope's infallibility ?
I abhor the Pope and his infallibility. I do not
recognize him, nor acknowledge him — I have
nothing to say to him ; and how can you be so
absurd, so frivolous as to assert that I stand up
for him?*' — Fridolin came back and angrily
shook his Olympian curls in his brother's flushed
face. He was about to speak, but Philip went on :
" No — I have nothing to say to the Pope and
his infallibility ; but Religion ! What does your
State want and expect ? To educate men all by
itself, without Religion to aid it ? Childish ! Mon-
strous! You may patch up the world with phi-
l6 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
losophies and analyze it by chemistry, you may
have your money swindled out of you by stock-
brokers, or lose it by speculation — but without
religion you are, and will remain, nothing better
than a higher type of ape."
" Thank you !" retorted Fridolin furiously, at
last getting in a word. ** Then when I conceive
of myself as you see me, reflected in the truthful
mirror of your mind, it is merely as a higher type
of ape ! Because I set my face against the folly
which the arch-foes of your church want to make
universal law, I — your brother — am a higher
type of ape !"
*' I regard you as an ape ? Now, did I say
that ? How can you distort my words so ?"
" I distort your words ? Why, did you not say
we were all a higher type of ape ?"
" Without which religion ? Without your re-
ligion — your degenerate, mechanical, artificial re-
ligion — a religion choked in its own bog ? You
scare away religion with your religion."
** Good Heavens ! That I should live to hear
such mad folly !"
" Mad folly — you say that to me ?"
"Certainly — to whom if not to you. Has
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1/
any one spoken but you ? — So we scare away re-
ligion ! And I stand up for the Pope's infallibil-
ity ! And there is nothing to be done for us ! We
are blind and we choose to be blind ! And all this
I am to listen to with patience !''
** With patience ! You answer everything I
say with an insult and you call that listening with
patience ? I can only pray Heaven that I may
never stand by when you are listening with impa-
tience. I have only one thing more to say to you"
— and for the seventh time he got as far as the
door and turned round to address his brother:
** You are driving me, and men like me, away from
religion by your religion. I have a God — I need
a God — I know that in His eyes I am no more
than a humble and insignificant art-professor ; but
your God, in whose honor you wear your black
gown, and take off your parson's hat, and shut up
your intolerant spirit. — He is too stupid to serve
me for a God. You may do very well to pro-
nounce anathemas and to play whist, but you are
of no good when it comes to educating human
This attack hit Pastor Philip hard. He rubbed
his hands round and round in despair, and breathed
hard. At last he gasped out :
** I will try to believe Fridolin — I will believe
1 8 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
— for your credit, that you have only spoken in a
paroxysm of insanity."
At this moment the clock on the drawers —
an old-fashioned rococo commode, — struck half-
past five !
" Gracious Heaven ! Half-past five ! And
my lecture?" Fridolin stood as if stunned ; stood
and listened, as if he expected the clock to strike
once more and something different. Then he
rushed out into the anteroom.
Philip stared after him. He felt suddenly
startled and alarmed without knowing wherefor.
He heard the outer door open and slam ; then all
was still. Then he fancied he could hear a few
loud words, a curse or something of the kind —
that too died away. The vehement quarrel was
suddenly silenced. He looked round the room,
strangely perplexed. His eye was caught by an
old mirror, with carved figures on the frame, which
reflected his person. He gazed with an astonished
stare at the face which gazed at him with an as-
tonished stare — a flushed face, that gradually
grew paler. Those glaring eyes, those pale shaven
lips, that tall lank form in a dressing-gown dis-
turbed him greatly. He started violently when
suddenly a harsh voice croaked out behind
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 9
" Fridoline ! Ne unquam immenior sis te phi-
" Who is there ?" he involuntarily asked.
" Who is there ?" echoed the voice, and then
there was a loud strange laugh.
Philip now recognized the philosophical coun-
sellor who had shrieked at him from a cage in a
corner of the room ; a red-tailed parrot, Fridolin's
only friend in the world of birds, the " Professor
extraordinary '* as Fridolin's pupils were wont to
call him. He sat on his gilt perch and cocked his
head to look at the pastor ; his sharp round eyes
seemed to say that he was laughing at him as he
Philip, instead of laughing — his melancholy
soul was incapable of thinking even of a smile at
this moment — cast a bewildered glance at the un-
canny bird ; then he escaped, almost swiftly,
through the door and back into his brother's study
There he stood still. He picked up the leather
case, which he had again knocked down, and as
he held it in his hand it reminded him of the er-
rand that had originally brought him there. He
had come to relieve his brotherly feelings, to ex-
press, once for all, his sentiments as to Fridolin's
generosity, self-sacrifice, unwearied sympathy and
kindliness ; to give utterance to his gratitude and
20 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
heartfelt acknowledgments; and at the same time
to apologize to his brother for the temper he had
shown in the earlier part of the day. " This was
what I came for," thought he — and he sighed.
**But I did not do it — I did not do it."
Philip went to the door in great perturbation
and shut it. Then he wandered about the room
"melancholy, slow," from the piano to the desk, the
bookcase to the portfolio stand, among the arm-
chairs and tables, till at last he dropped into a
carved chair in front of the writing-table; he
found a sheet of paper — note-paper, with Frido-
lin's monogram — took a carved ivory pen-holder,
and began to write :
" My dear Brother.
" I have once more proved beyond
a doubt that I am a burden to you, and one too
many in your household. Nay, I have myself
given the proof If the existence of a man whose
nature is gloomy, whose life is darkened, who has
not even the gift of seeming amiable, and who,
from that unlucky predisposition we have already
mentioned, cannot endure contradiction, but is al-
ways led into unbrotherly wrath — if the existence
of such a man at all is simply superfluous, we
need trouble ourselves for no further proofs. To-
FRIDOLIN'S mystical marriage. 21
morrow, therefore, I, with Judica — Providence
must have some specially chastening end in view
in giving her such a father! — I, with Judica, will
leave your hospitable roof and return to spend the
remainder of my holiday in my own home. May
God reward you — better than I ever can — for
all your kindness and affection ; I only pray that
He may some day prove to you by the course of
historical events, that I am right, and that religion
will be inevitably wrecked against the despotism
of an arbitrary and materialistic Government.
" Your unhappy Brother
When he had done writing he sighed ; then
he folded up the note, sealed it, and addressed it :
" For Fridolin ;" after which he left by the way
he had come.
Professor Fridolin — for I propose to re-
tain the name which his friends had given him,
and which all the world took leave to call him by
— Professor Fridolin had established a custom of
inviting his favorite pupils from the three schools
where he delivered lectures on art, one evening in
the week, and showing them hospitality within
the " rules of the house'* — rules which by one
and another unwritten compact and compromise
had become a fixed law in Frau Ritter's mind.
But as, during the last year or two, he had got
into a habit of working all the evening and late
into the night, and as he would not give up either
the regular invitation nor his sacred hours of
study, he had hit upon a plan for combining them ;
his boys — his " body-guard" as they were com-
monly called — found their supper laid in the
parrot's room, while he sat in his sanctum, read-
ing and writing. It would have been sheer sacri-
lege to disturb him there, but it was their privi-
lege to be as noisy and merry as they pleased
within the limits of " dignified sobriety ;" and
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 23
from time to time the master would put his head
in at the door to cast some jest among them, or
to moderate some transcendental and aesthetic
squabble by a few words of rational commonplace
that brought it down from the clouds again.
Five of them, that evening, about an hour
and a half after Philip had written his doleful
letter, climbed up the three flights of stairs to
Fridolin's " sky parlor,** rousing the echoes of the
house with a vehement debate on the superiority
of painting to sculpture. They rang ; Frau Ritter
herself opened the door and received them with a
smile. It was the kindly, motherly smile with
which she always greeted the body-guard — past
and present alike — for, although the ruling idea
of her life was a feeling of reverence for Professor
Fridolin, whom she regarded as the most wonder-
ful man on earth, she herself had gained too much
power over him and too much dignity as his
housekeeper, not to look down with a slight touch
of maternal superiority on the lads whose father
in the spirit he was. Besides, her self-respect
was founded on three pillars which no shock
could affect : First, the time when she was young
— oh ! distant time — when she was admired by
painters and sculptors, and had gone — with an
order to the pit — to be fired with enthusiasm for
24 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Ludwig Devrient's* inspired acting; next her
nearest relations, the children of a "scholard"
brother ; a nephew — the second pillar, and a
niece — the third. Of these two young persons
she had predicted so much that was great and
promising that the professor had finally decided on
engaging the niece — though he had never seen
her — to come, on probation, as governess to
Judica then and there.
Since the day when this decision had been an-
nounced to Frau Ritter in solemn conclave — in
the presence, that is to say, of the pastor and his
little girl — her smile had increased in motherly
dignity, or so the body-guard declared ; and to-
day had risen to the zenith of maternal import-
ance, for this very evening the niece of all her
hopes was to join the expectant household.
'* Good evening. Aunt Ritter,*' — she was every-
one's aunt — said the foremost of the five, as he
hung his overcoat which he had already pulled
off, on one of the pegs of the cloak-stand which
narrowed the anteroom. " Is the professor come
in from lecture ?"
" I have fumigated his room," replied Frau
Ritter, " and have had his fire laid with wood ; but
he is not come in yet."
* A famous German actor some years since.
fridolin's mystical marriage. 25
" You grow handsomer and more queenly
every day, Aunt Ritter/' said the next comer, who
was the shorfSst ; and he kissed her hand with
overwhelming gallantry. She gave him a little
slap on the hand in which he had taken hers.
" Well, you will never grow to be anything
but what you are, and the best they can make of
you will be professor of oddities."
" Is there hot or cold meat for supper this
evening. Aunt Ritter ?" asked a third. " It is the
great day you know, the day when your niece is
" Is she pretty, that niece of yours ?" said the
former speaker, who bore the character among his
companions of being the Don Juan of the body-
guard — " Frivolin" they called him.
" Does she sing ?" asked another.
" Is her beauty picturesque or statuesque ?"
asked the fifth and he laughed ; for he had the
happy, and very common peculiarity of always
laughing at his own wit.
" Yes — what is her style of architecture ?"
added the first.
** You are a Godless crew ; and the cold meat
is burning," retorted Frau Ritter ; and she van-
ished with her soft heavy tread in the direction of
26 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
The young men, laughing and talking, went
into the parrot's room, where the table was al-
ready laid. The "professor extraordinary" or
" Pittacus the wise" — as they had dubbed this
very respectable Psittacus erithacus — sat hunched
on his topmost perch with his eyes shut, appar-
ently asleep. From the adjoining room — Frido-
lin's sanctum — a sort of song was audible, a
hoarse vague concatenation of sounds hardly to
be called a tune — a distorted echo of a well-
known air by Schubert. The body-guard lis-
" Can that be Father Philippus ?" asked one in
"No — those are not the sepulchral tones of
the reverend Father," replied Frivolin. " No pas-
tor could ever sing so much out of tune. This is
a natural phenomenon that must be investigated."
And he opened the door.
On Fridolin's bed, outside the Turkish rug
that covered it, a young man lay stretching his
long legs with an astounding air of intimacy;
between his fingers he flourished a smoking cig-
arette, while he hummed his melancholy ditty.
A black hat, which he had not taken off, covered
his forehead and eyes ; nothing was to be seen of
his face but a slightly Roman nose and the profile
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 2/
of his mouth and chin. But when he ceased
singing his lips, unconcealed by a moustache,
wore a singular and subtle expression of irony
that at once betrayed the owner of the Roman
nose as plainly as if he had been ticketed with his
name. Little Frivolin drew himself up exclaim-
ing : " Why — it is Leopold !'*
The young man said not a word, but raised
and twisted himself round till he sat on the edge
of the bedj contemplating the five who had come
into the room in single file like a flock of geese,
the last man filling up the door- way. A sarcastic
but not disagreeable smile was his only greeting,
and some little time passed before he took off his
hat, displaying a high and handsome forehead.
Then he once more glanced from one to another,
with an expression of puzzled amazement in his
keen observant grey eyes. At last he opened
his mouth and spake :
" It is very odd," he said, " you all look exactly
as you did this time twelvemonth. Good evening
" And are you altered ?'* said Frivolin a little
testily. " Yes» — he is altered. Look boys, he is
dressed in the latest fashion. He has become a
slave to his tailor. He wears a chimney pot, and
shiny leather boots. May I be permitted to ask,
28 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL . MARRIAGE.
Leopold, whether it will occur to you to shake
"With both hands/' said Leopold smiling.
" Sensitive youth ! I was only giving myself the
pleasure of a few minutes study of my species —
I am a naturalist you know. You art students
certainly rejoice in an absolute independence of
the fashions, and a despotic power over your
tailors. Your intellectual neckties, the air of con-
viction about the cut of your waistcoats — the
same, the very same as a twelvemonth since !
You are more steadfast than I. Yes, yes — those
shirt collars — audacious but noble ! Now I have
so far yielded to the seductions of the world that
I can bear to look like other people without a
blush of shame. The tailor has ideas — I wear
them — a division of labor; the modern principle.
Well — and how are you Risotto ? * Your blue
eyes still behold the light of day.' You still
dwell with your ideals I see."
The young man thus addressed was a Hun
in stature, which had procured him the nick-
name of Riese (giant) ; to this had been added
the Italian augmentative otto, and rthe whole re-
sult was Risotto a name more quaint than appro-
Risotto blushed — it was a way he had ; and
fridolin's .mystical marriage. 29
said in the gentle voice which always sounded
strange as proceeding from such a huge person :
" I hope you have not altogether abandoned
yours, though you no longer are one of us.*'
" I never was one of you," replied Leopold.
** It was only a whim that made me nibble at art
for a year, before I set to work to digest Nature.'*
"What away to speak of it!" said Risotto
coloring again — : this time with indignation. " A
yearning seeking for the Ideal — and you had it
— you can call a whim ?"
" I have no fancy for big words," answered
Leopold a little drily.
" You have not seen Fridolin ?" asked Fri-
" No — I am waiting for him."
" You will take supper with us here to-night ?"
"I rather think so."
'' As I hear," continued Frivolin with in-
creased solemnity, '* you are a Darwinist ?"
*' I am a Darwinist."
Leopold could have sworn to himself that the
word Evolutionist was all that Frivolin knew of
the subject ; but he suppressed an ironical smile
and said nothing more.
30 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
"An evolutionist," repeated Risotto in a tone
that combined reproach and regret. ** Formerly,
when you were with us, you took a higher — a
philosophical view of the universe."
" In those days I was a fool."
There was a pause ; the five brethren of art
looked at each other in silence. Frivolin only
stood nodding gravely to himself and seemed to
reserve his opinion on this heresy, from a higher
standpoint. This uncomfortable silence was not,
however, of long duration. First Frau Ritter and
then Fridolin were heard on the landing. " Is that
my dear Leopold !" he exclaimed with hearty
feeling, as he appeared at the door, and then
opening his arms wide, with a certain solemnity in
spite of the delight that sparkled in his eyes, he
•' Hail fulfilment, fairest of Heaven's daughters !
Come and crown my fondest hopes with joy."
Then, as Leopold came forward to meet him,
he clasped him in his arms and kissed him —
" Welcome, thrice welcome !" he exclaimed.
" If you are hungry or thirsty tell Frau Ritter
what you want. But first to business, before I
FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 3 1
can give myself up to the pleasure of seeing you
He turned to the body-guard, and taking the
arm of the one who stood nearest to him : " You
see that wardrobe," he said.
" Yes, I see it*
" It must be cleared out for Fraulein Ottilie
Ritter, the long-expected niece. It contains ..."
" Papers, pamphlets, and waistcoats."
" Quite right. Well-informed young man !
Now, you two sucking architects are expected to
superintend the evacuation of this structure within
the next quarter of an hour, and to find another
place for the evicted documents and waistcoats,
with that keen wit for contrivance that distin-
This is the task?
Your teacher has a right to ask.
And he who does not earn his appetite, does
not earn the food to appease it withal."
The professor had not done speaking before
the lads had stormed the wardrobe, some standing
to reach the shelves and the others kneeling to
empty the drawers. Fridolin beckoned Risotto,
by whose side he himself looked small and slight,
to come with him ; but before speaking to him he
32 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
could not resist casting a glance of affectionate
glee at Leopold as he exclaimed :
** How like his mother he is ! — When did you
reach Berlin my son ?"
" This afternoon. '*
" And of course you promised your mother
you would write at once ? '
" And of course you have not done so."
Leopold shook his head.
*' At the same time you do not wish to go
through life bereft of your mother's blessing ?"
" Certainly not."
'* Then proceed to earn that and your supper,"
said Fridolin, politely offering the young man his
arm and conducting him with much ceremony to
the writing-table. ** Here is a chair," — into
which he gently forced him — " Here is a pen," —
which he put into his hand — '* And here is a
post-card — a blessed invention in this degenerate
age ! — Now, write my compliments to her Serene
Highness," he added with a magnificent wave of
Leopold laughed and wrote.
" Now is your turn, Risotto," said the profes-
sor. '* I had appointed you to the honorable duty
of meeting this much-expected niece at the sta-
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 33
tion, and of escorting her under your gigantic pro-
tection home to this house. Why then are you
here, my son, and not at the railway station ?"
" The train does not come in till nine."
" Are you sure of that ?*'
*' I firmly believe that it does."
" What a beautiful syllogism of covert logic !"
exclaimed Fridolin. "You firmly believe it —
you firmly believe in a thing that you do not know;
which is as much as to say that you are firmly
certain of knowing nothing about it ! — Go, man
of immeasurable stature and most limited capac-
ity; put on your hat." Risotto colored deeply.
" I firmly believe that you are too late already.
Earn your supper while you are waiting for it ;
and enjoy the firmest belief that it will be kept for
" Very well, I will go at once, though really I
firmly believe. ..."
Leopold rose. " I have written," he said with
a sigh of relief.
*' Shall I take the post-card ?" asked Risotto.
" Yes, you may take it," said Fridolin. The
giant put out his long arm for it, but Fridolin in-
terposed and took it out of his hand.
" First let me ask you, my son, — when you
are entrusted with a post-card, or a letter, with a
34 FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
view to your putting it into the nearest letter-box,
what do you do with it ?"
"I — I take it"
" And then ?*'
" I put it in my pocket.'*
*' A fatal error. Has your pocket a memory ?
No. Do you remember it ? No. Are you per-
fectly certain that the letter will not remain in
your pocket a week — a month — three months ?
No. — Well then, what will you do with it, young
man ? He is lost in meditation. — You will keep
the letter in your hand till you confide it to the
more trustworthy depths of the letter-box."
"Very true," said Risotto. He took the post-
card between two fingers, smiled like a big know-
ing schoolboy who has learnt something new, and
took himself off.
" My dear Rudolf," said Fridolin to another of
the lads, as he took a few printed sheets out of a
small desk that stood by the window, " you know
" Yes — I read them for you last evening."
" With me," corrected Frivolin.
"And there can be no more mistakes," Rudolf
went on, — he was the young man who laughed
so heartily at his own jokes — " for we took infin-
ite pains. . . "
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 35
" Both of us/' added FrivoHn.
" And yet/* answered the professor, " I took
the liberty of reading these proofs through myself;
and it grieves me to inform you that, in spite of
your infinite painstaking, I found two misprints
that you had overlooked. Here my children — u
has dropped out, and here we have admonishment
for astonishment. When I write ' To his great
astonishment everything remained exactly as he
had left it,' I write sense ; but if it were ' To his
great admonishment,* the reader, I fear, might
stigmatize it as nonsense ; therefore I have made
so bold as to alter it to astonishment.*'
" It is extraordinary, incredible !** said Rudolf,
opening his eyes very wide as though that
could remedy his oversight. " And we, both of
us. . . .**
" I do not think I did look through that page,"
"Yes you did; that very page,** said Rudolf
" You need not quarrel over it, silly boys. The
one who tries to evade the blame only deserves it
for something else. Why do I ask you to read
through my proofs ? Are you ever likely to earn
your bread by doing it ? No one can desire that —
no one does desire that. Why then ? Because it
36 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
is useful practice for your eyes and brain ; because
it requires you to keep both eyes and mind wide
awake at the same time. You had prided your-
selves too much on your accuracy, so now earn
your suppers by taking your 'admonishment'
without too much ' astonishment' *'
" Fridolin," cried one of the young architects
coming away from the wardrobe with a dark green
velvet waistcoat in his hand that he had selected
from a whole heap of waistcoats that had been
turned out of a drawer.
"What now ?" asked Fridolin.
" I have never yet fallen heir to one of your
waistcoats. — If only you would bequeath. me this
Fridolin looked at it with great gravity. " It
is one of my handsomest and most carefully plan-
ned waistcoats/' he said. " It was designed on
the lines of a doublet."
" I will wear it in the same spirit," said the
" Turn it round." The architect obeyed.
" Look inside, whether it has any name on it
The architect examined the lining of the back.
There is nothing here," he said.
Very well — then so be it Take a pen and
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 37
write your name on the lining. When I give up
wearing this waistcoat it shall be yours."
** Thank you very much."
" That will do."
The second student, who had meanwhile fin-
ished emptying the wardrobe, now came forward
also with a waistcoat in his hand.
" Mr. Professor," said he, and a supplicating
look completed the sentence.
The professor let his gaze rest with benevolent
satisfaction on this pupil, whose face, though far
from handsome, was full of character and earnest-
ness, and revealed intellectual power, perhaps even
imaginative genius. He laid his hand kindly on
the lad's thick brown hair.
" Put the waistcoat away," he said, " I have
another token of my regard in store for you
The young man's eyes sparkled and all the
others gathered round him as though they guessed
what was coming.
" The Ancients," continued the professor, with
all his wonted dignity and grace, " the fortunate
Greeks had many advantages over us — but we
Germans have this one advantage over them : We
are able, simply by our mode of address, to ex-
press the warmth of our regard for certain men.
38 fridolin's mystical marriage.
To all the world I say * Sie ; * to men with whom
I am more or less intimate I say, in moments of
confidence, *Ikr\* to my friends I say, ^ Du'*
Why, now, should I propose to say Thou hence-
forth to you. Why — let me speak to the end,
Franz — why should I grant you the brotherly
privilege of saying Thou to me ? Because your
nature and your noble qualities make us brothers
— a brotherhood which I do not in the least
recognize as an universal and congenial right of
man ; but, on the contrary, which I regard as the
highest result of spiritual culture and the reward
of the noblest humanity. Give me thy hand. I
have watched thee ; I see the right stuff in thee.
In one thing let me be an example to thee : I
never love a man till I have learnt to esteem him,
and I cannot help loving a man who commands
Tears stood in Franz's brown eyes ; he tried
to speak but could only stammer out as he smiled :
"Fridolin — thou..."
Fridolin folded him in his arms and kissed his
forehead, then, turning round, he said cheerfully :
" Very good ; now all business is settled."
* In German, as in Italian, the third person phiral-*.Sif — is
used for all formal or respectful address, Inr — you — is familiar, or
even contemptuous. Du — thou — implies affectionate intimacy.
fridolin's mystical marriage. 39
Little Frivolin was however standing before
him, evidently with some purpose in view to
which he dared not give utterance. He looked
significantly, first at the professor and then at the
newly-elected Brother, smiled a doubtful smile —
but spoke not.
The professor raised his brows, as much as to
imply that he had guessed the hope that moved
Frivolin. He too stood for a moment, looking at
him without speaking. The expression of ill-
assured audacity and slightly defiant self-confi-
dence which gradually overspread the lad's face
like a rising mist, seemed to amuse him. At
length he said : " I think we may assume; my
son, that I have already guessed what you are
silently asking of me. Do you think yourself
that you are worthy of the same favor as I have
shown this boy ?" and he pointed to Franz.
Little Frivolin threw an involuntary and some-
what contemptuous glance at Franz, and, as in-
voluntarily, drew himself up a little.
" I believe," he said, " that I am not apt to
rate myself too highly ; but I cannot see why I
should feel myself unworthy to be just as near
and dear to you as our friend Franz."
" You think so ?" said the professor with whim-
sical gravity. " What says Hamlet, my son :
40 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
* Use every man after his desert, and who should
escape whipping?' — And what say I, enlarging
on the text : * Use every man after his own esti-
mation and who would not be certain of a fortune
and a crown of honor ?' Frivolin, I will only say
this much — and when I have said it I will leave
you all for an hour, for I want to have a walk and
a talk with this returned prodigal" — he meant
Leopold — " under the trees in the park. — Frivo-
lin, you are a man of many gifts. You are per-
haps the cleverest of all the coming men who
have rallied round my banner, from our three
colleges. But you have sometimes too great a
belief in yourself, and too little belief in our great
ideals. I have watched you too. I see in you
three gods which you worship : Success, Women,
and Money. My son, Art speaks to you through
me, her minister ; and she says : Thou shalt have
no other gods but me ! If you mean to become
a great artist, write the words of another great
artist on your door*' — he pointed to the phil-
osophical motto on his own :
'* Art only have I loved,
Art only have I served
Through many years.
But arts I have despised,
Truth only have I prized ;
And thus, and therefore, I can have no fears."
fridolin's mystical marriage. 41
The professor declaimed the last lines with true
dramatic pathos and gesture. Then he took his
hat, nodded to Leopold to follow him, and went
to the door. On the threshold he paused and
looked back at Frivolin, who was struggling with
his mixed feelings and his indignant blushes.
" With regard to Franz and the brotherly //«,"
he added, and Frivolin looked up — "I can only-
say to you, my son : Your hour is not yet come."
It was March. After a hard winter the
weather had become suddenly mild, and it had
now remained in this benevolent mood for no less
than three weeks. Every one had forgotten —
as is every one's way — that Berlin is one of
the capitals of the sub-arctic zone; every one
thought that Spring was master of the situation
and was ready to believe in some nutation of the
earth's axis that might result in a cycle of mild
winters; and the peculiarly northern feeling of
settled calm and happy resignation to winter, was
fast breaking up and giving way to the eager un-
rest which comes with the spring. This evening
of the twentieth of March was even milder and
softer and more summer-like than its predecessors
had been, with a warm breeze and rosy-tinted
clouds. When Fridolin and Leopold got out into
the street the moon, almost full, was high in the
clear vault, lighting up the slow trains of cloud,
which a fanciful eye might have taken for an end-
less crowd of birds of passage winging their way
homewards. Following in their track the two
fridolin's mistical marriage. 43
then crossed the Potsdamer Platz, and loitered
along the quiet Bellevue Strasse into the Thier-
Garten, where even the leafless trees could not
altogether chill their spring-like feeling. The air
was so soft that they could imagine it full of the
fragrance of sprouting leaves and earlyViolets, and
of the busy bustle of birds. Fridolin had taken his
companion's arm and had begun to hum a tune ;
Leopold did not sing with him, but he did not in-
terrupt him. Thus they had spoken but little
when they found themselves by the ornamental
water, opposite " Rousseau's Island.'* There they
paused ; a dreamy vein of feeling had come over
Fridolin and seemed to hold him spell-bound.
He leaned against a tree, and the moonlight fell
on his soft black hat — with its artistic fold in the
middle, and on his still handsome features. The
lines on his forehead had almost disappeared un-
der his softened and sentimental mood ; his blue
eyes had a womanly tenderness of expression, and
their light was as clear and calm as the moon itself
Leopold fixed a penetrating gaze on the master
and stood still likewise, without moving or speak-
ing. There was a subtly ironical smile on his lips
as he watched Fridolin ; but he left him to his
dreams and did not disturb him.
" In such a night," Fridolin began at last.
44 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTltAL MARRIAGE.
*' In such a night I was a nightingale
And piped and trilled unutterable love 1"
" In such a night/* said Leopold in his soft
bass, "I crossed to the island, skating, with a
lady in a fur muflf, and loved and was beloved."
" My 'dear fellow," replied Fridolin sadly,
** your youthful arrogance is, alas, fully justified —
for you are young, but I am old."
Leopold smiled. " You are forty and I am
two and twenty. When I am forty I will
not * pipe unutterable love ; ' I will put all the
youngsters of two and twenty to shame by my
successes. I will drive them to despair — send
" Do you think so ? — It seems to me that dur-
ing the year since we parted, you, 'a favorite of
Fortune have grown more triumphant, more sure
of yourself than ever. You are handsomer, that
is certain ; and you have ripened, you have gained
in savoir-faire and in importance. You, like your
letters, are five and twenty at least. If I were
your mother I should be proud of my son. But
— as I am only your friend — and only a year
ago was still your master — I may venture to re-
mind you, my son, that you are still but an under-
graduate in life."
** You might as reasonably tell this tree that it
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 45
is but a tree,** laughed Leopold. " How and whea
should I cecise to remember that I am but a fresh-
man in experience ? If I did not live to learn I
should cease to live."
Fridolin nodded approval. " There you speak
a true word,** he said. " And if you feel that, I
can better bear to see you leaping onwards. And
how long do you expect to remain a freshman ?**'
" I will tell you what I propose, Fridolin, and
then you can laugh at me. I have made up my
mind to be my own physician at five and twenty,,
to have gained my moral experience at thirty, and
to be master of my profession at five and thirty.**
" Of your profession as a seeker, a student of
Fridolin sighed with whimsical sentimentality.
" While I, at forty am not my own physician, have
not finished my moral training, and have not mas-
tered my profession ! I am utterly incomplete —
incapable of completion.**
" You are incapable of contentment ?** said
Fridolin shook his head. " My dear fellow, do
not try to comfort me. In one thing perhaps my
education is finished — more finished than with
you youngsters — in self-knowledge. Neither false
46 fridolin's mystical marriage.
pride, nor false shame need hinder me from telling
you, a lad of two and twenty, my own opinion of
myself Why should it ? To Risotto and Frivo-
lin I am the Master, the superior man whom they
must respect ; but to you, who one of these days
will rise far above and beyond me — you need not
disclaim — to you I may show my bare and shirt-
less self What sort of a self? What is my self
after all ? I know not ; no one knows. I am a
man without a centre of gravity. Why do I do
this or that ? Why did I become what I am rather
than anything else ? No one can tell. I believe
I might have been anything — and nothing ; that
is the tragical riddle of my existence." Leopold
" What are you laughing at ?"
"At the effect the spring atmosphere has upon
your temperament. This warm evening broods
upon your brain like a sitting hen and hatches the
eggs of your melancholy mood. What are you ?
You are the Original that the Almighty tried to
make you — and he succeeded perfectly."
"An original — stuff! without any centre of
gravity ! An original incapable of originality. I
teach and know nothing ; I write and have no style;
how often has your precocity, your Goethe-mind,
reproached me for the want of style in my sen-
FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 47
tences ! I am a discord. A well-made man above,
with legs too short ; a beard like Jupiter and a
weak voice ; I have a heart that would face mar-
tyrdom for an idea or for a friend, and yet I am
a fidgety, comfort-loving, egotistical old' bachelor.
Why did I become a professor of art ? I am sure
I do not know. My physical proportions seem to
indicate that I was meant for something quite dif-
ferent. Look at my muscles, my suppleness, my
nimbleness — more like a dancing master's. If all
thfe is not enough to prove that I have missed my
vocation, never trust the voice of nature. When-
ever I go to a circus I feel tempted to jtand up
and say to the audience : * Here you see a man
who has mistaken his vocation — Nature meant me
to be a circus- rider.'*
Fridolin delivered this speech in such solemn
earnest, with such dramatic emphasis, and such
appropriate action, that Leopold was irresistibly
compelled to burst out laughing. Fridolin's face
showed that this result rather flattered him than
otherwise. He did not interrupt his companion's
laughter ; but remained in the theatrical attitude
in which he had stood when he ended. When
Leopold was quiet again he dropped his arms
and added, half in fun but half in grave earnest :
** Now confess, my friend, that such a condition of
48 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
my organism, though laughable, is somewhat con-
'* A circus-rider or an art professor," replied
Leopold in the same key. " It is art all the same."
" But h\ contradiction to nature. I must be
an interesting phenomenon for you, as a natural-
ist, to study. I am a living protest against the
purposes of nature."
" What you really are is unmarried^' said Leo-
pold with his shrewdest laugh. " Many a man
who seeks a centre of gravity in vain in himself,
finds it in marriage. That was what Mother
Nature created him for. If you would only marry,
Fridolin, even now you might discover that you
were never intended for a circus-rider after all."
A shade of melancholy flitted across the pro-
fessor's face but changed immediately to one of
"Well...." he said, "I will prop myself
against my tree again and answer that suggestion
too. Why do I not marry ? It is not yet too late
perhaps. There may be women, younger and
handsomer than Aunt Ritter, who would be will-
ing to take her place. It is very true too, that old
Aunt Ritter, worthy as she is, does not fulfil my
fondest dreams. My position as uncle to the
world at large does not satisfy my soul ; my work,
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 49
my body-guard, my friends, do not satisfy me.
I long for a complementary half; Leopold, I still
write verses in which I crave for that complement,
and I even take out my flute now and then and
breathe my longings into that. Sometimes, dur-
ing the past year, I have fancied that it was you
that I wanted. I wrote you the most gushing
" I never had them,*' said Leopold.
" No, I did not send them. They lie in my
desk and I do not intend you ever should see
them. I am very fond of you, my boy, and re-
joice in the sight of you — but you are not that
complement. You are too real ; too obvious. —
let us say too masculine. * What man hath never
known nor dreamed' — that is the complement I
" A feminine complement, in short," laughed
" My dear fellow,
• Rash youth is ever ready with a word
That cuts as shrewdly as the razor's edge.'
Feminine — of course. You look in my face —
you observe my flowing beard and you say * a
feminine complement.' Let me answer that too —
and do not keep fidgeting from one leg to the
50 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Other ; stand still a little while for goodness* sake.
Well — why do I not marry ? — Why did I fall
in love with your pretty sister and then, when she
married another man — dance at the wedding ?
Why is my brother Franz the father of my sister-
in-law Therese's children, the children that would
have been his nephews and nieces if I had mar-
ried Therese when I was in love with her ? Why
have I lived to be forty and a bachelor ? Why
shall I live to be fifty, sixty, seventy and still be
a bachelor ? My dear Leopold because ..." He
broke off and sank into a mysterious silence.
" Well ?" said Leopold.
Fridolin stepped forward and coming close up
to the young man, stood still in front of him.
Then, after glancing round him, though there was
no third person to be seen — not a soul in the de-
serted darkness — he said with affected indif-
" Because I have been secretly married, my
He watched the effect of his words on Leo-
pold's face. His shrewd intelligent countenance
fell with such complete stupefaction that he looked
quite idiotic for the moment. Fridolin slapped
him on the shoulder, smiling rather ruefully.
" Shall I tell you what you look like at this
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. $1
instant, Leo? Not like the taciturn Prince of
Orange face to face with Egmont — as you used
to call me; not like Goethe meeting Napoleon,
my boy ; but for all the world like the lieutenant
who was kept awake at night by his own stu-
" Secretly married !" the young man said at
last. " I do not know whether to believe a word
of it or no."
" My dear fellow, who dares say I believe or I
do not believe ? Pull yourself together, Leo. The
marriage I speak of is one that exists before the
eyes of the world without their ever discovering
it. . It is a natural phenomenon. A psychologi-
Leopold could not help opening his eyes
wider than ever and Fridolin was enchanted.
Gloating over his success and his friend's mystifi-
cation, he coolly took out a cigar and lighted it,
without saying another word. The air was per-
fectly still and he puffed the smoke upwards in
regular curves till they vanished in thin air ; then,
after a short interval, he went on :
" You await my explanation like a philoso-
pher, in silence. There I know you — and I am
pleased with it. As a reward I will spare you
the quotation from Hamlet about 'Things in
52 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
heaven and earth, Horatio/ though it is my duty
and privilege to grace your existence with classi-
cal quotations. And when I have left you long
enough perched on the stool of expectation I, the
art professor, can divulge to you, the student of
nature, one of Nature's secrets.**
" I am listening.*'
"You are listening — 'tis well. I speak.
What is the distinction between Nature and Art ?
This : Art is complete in itself, once and for ever —
Nature is for ever growing and perishing, for ever
incomplete. Art has no infinitude. Nature has no
limits. Well then, assuming that Nature has pro-
duced Man as her final earthly effort. — Was he cre-
ated a complete and finite unity ? No. There are
as many forms and colors as there are individuals.
The foolish outside world says: Nature created
white men, red men, black men. Higher intelli-
gences — you and I — say there are not white, red,
and black — there is every hue from the whitest
white down to the blackest black. Not a link,
not an intermediate shade is wanting. Were it
possible to place all the men in the world in a row
side by side, in order of their gradations of color,
from the Albino to the darkest Negro, the outside
world woukl seek in vain for the interval between
any two shades, not a break would be discovera-
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIACJE. 53
ble. Or, if he did at length so far triumph as to
detect a slightly larger interval between two of
them, the Great Spirit might slap him on the
shoulder and say to him : * Step into the ranks my
son ; it is you who supply the missing shade/ "
Leopold could not help laughing.
" Are you laughing at the fact ?" asked Fri-
dolin, " or at my way of putting it ? Do you
not admit the accuracy of my view ?"
" I am forced to agree with you, Fridolin,"
" Very good ; you are forced to agree. Now
— what has Nature done for man so far as his
sex is concerned ? If we ask the outside
world — the sempiternally ignorant world —
they answer : Nature made man and woman ;
nothing more. But I ask again : Then is every
man simply a man, and every woman simply a
woman ? When you consider all the men of
your acquaintance and their temperament and
character, does it strike you that every man is
thoroughly manly and every woman thoroughly
womanly ? Or, on the contrary, do you not find
singular deviations and exceptions to the normal
type ? — He nods. How many ? A great many ?
— He nods. Masculine women — womanish men ?
— He nods. There is every sort of variety ? —
54 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
He nods, he cannot help himself. It is all true.
Well then, foolish world, let us higher intelligen-
ces teach you that these deviations and exceptions
are no more than the numberless intermediate
shades and combinations of Nature's unlimited
elements ; that here, as in the matter of color, there
are no breaks nor gaps. If we once more place
all the men on earth in a series, sorting them by
the shades of difference in their natural disposi-
tions, from the North Pole, so to speak, of stal-
wart manliness to the South Pole of perfect
womanhood, and if you then could cast a piercing
glance into their souls, you would perceive, to the
shame of your own stupid soul, that there is no
grade of mixture lacking between the two ex-
tremes. There are, here and there in this long
series, some very singular beings — we will not
call them exceptions or deviations but * transition
forms' — and quite as many of these are men as
are women — beings with mascuUne intellect and
womanly feelings, or womanly gifts and masculine
character, or a medley perhaps of all the most
opposite qualities. These natures consequently
look on both sides for their complementary soul,
seeking it among men and women alike ; the mag-
netic needle of their nature points now to the
north-pole of manhood and now to the south-pole
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 55
of womanhood. They indeed" — and Fridolin
sighed — "must be objects of profound pity, for
they seek their complementary soul and find it not.
Do they seek it in a man ? Only the womanly
half of their nature needs the man — not the other
half; that is itself man. Do they seek it in a
woman ? It is only that other half that needs the
woman. They can never find their complement ;
the two halves supplement each other. Thus they
are married to themselves and live in a bond of
"That is the secret marriage of which I spoke/'
added Fridolin, after a pause.
Leopold had listened quietly, hardly moving
even, and he neither spoke nor stirred now, but
stood nodding thoughtfully.
"You do not gainsay it?" asked Fridolin.
"You admit that I — the undersigned — do live
in such a marriage of my double self?"
"Yes. Now you have said it — as you have
described it — I do admit it."
" Then you understand now why I have never
married, and why I do not intend to marry."
Leopold smiled a gently pathetic smile; then,
taking Fridolin's hand: "Is it an indiscretion," he
said, " or may I be permitted to ask whether you
56 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
live happy together; or, I should rather say, with
Instead of answering, the professor took Leo-
pold's other hand, and held them both, emphati-
cally as it were, at arm's length ; a half-humorous,
half-tragical expression stole over his features.
*' Why do I take your hands ?" he said pre-
sently. "Why am I not amply satisfied with
holding my own left hand in my own right ?
Alas, my friend, the two halves of a man are not
enough to satisfy each other ; only two separate
souls can fulfil each other's needs, for Nature has
made them so. Look at me, Leopold," and his
voice softened, " look me in the face. Nature
meant me for a man — look at this classic beard,
this deep chest — a man every inch of me; you
say I am like Count Egmont. Count Egmont
was a favorite with women, and I share that
amiable peculiarity. My nature is tender, my
heart is prone to love. A charming woman makes
me feel kindly towards her in the first hour, be-
witches me in the second, makes a lyric poet of
me by the end of the third. Do I think of mar-
rying her? Oh yes, certainly. I am ready to
fight for her against the world. What am I then
but a man in love, ridiculously in love — that and
nothing more ? Do I remember at such a moment
FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. $7
that there is a womanly half to my nature ? I
have entirely forgotten it. I forget that I ever
knew it. I write verses, I love — I woo — my
love is returned. — We will suppose that it is re-
turned. — ^^What happens then. Do I go and say:
Fair damsel, I love you, will you be my wife ? —
No. But I say to myself with silent emotion how
delightful it is to be loved. I gloat over it — re-
joice for a few days with perfect joy; then with a
somewhat melancholy joy, I compose some dis-
mal verses to my love who loves me. I grow pa-
thetic over her and am sorry for her.
"Why? Because, meanwhile, the womanly
half of me has come home again, as it were ; the
womanly half to which I am already married.
She had gone away for a little time ; now she is
come home again; she reminds me that I belong
to her. A struggle — divided feelings — a word-
less quarrel — domestic chaos. Then I write some
more verses. What do I care for my love wKo
loves me ? To the woman within me she is an
object of aversion and distrust ; to the man an ob-
ject of agonizing sacrifice. For I sacrifice her —
with much suflfering and a bitter consciousness of
my misery — still, I give her up. The marriage
between me and myself once more asserts its
claims, and together we follow the abortive love
S8 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
to the grave. — And am I happy ? No my friend
— I am not."
Again there was a pause ; Leopold was the
first to speak: "No — not happy; that I believe;
but you grow calm again do you not ?"
"Yes. I grow calm. I retire into my single
— or double — solitude. I work, and I like my
work — though I have missed my vocation/' he
added laughing. " Work is peace and to live to
oneself is also peace ; so I am not unhappy after
all. We — I and myself — can live on very well
together, for a time. How long ? Perhaps for
three months, perhaps for six ; then a new vision
rises — a fresh separation. This time perhaps it is
the womanly half that betrays me, for all that is
noble and manly attracts and charms me; indeed
it is my highest happiness to talk to superior men
and to aspiring lads, to think and dream and rave as
they do. I feel like Socrates, the greatest of men ;
to find and train a beautiful soul — to find beauty
even in vulgar souls — seems to me the grandest
task of man. I meet with a youth who particu-
larly pleases me and I invite him to frequent my
company. I dream of his future and one morn-
ing I suddenly say to myself: ' The world is void
and empty without Julius — or Fritz, as the case
may be — I must have him near me. I educate
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 59
him, I devote myself to him, I am never satisfied
unless I have my eye on him. — But what should
make me tell this to you of all men ? I loved
you so two years ago. You know me just as I am,
my dear fellow, for you knew me as I then
"Your generous affection is a thing to be
proud of,'* he said, "but it did not dazzle me.
Every day I told myself to be prepared for the in-
evitable moment of reaction."
" Reaction, yes, that is the word,'* replied Fri-
dolin. " At last, one day, my manly half comes
back — where it had been wandering God only
knows. It sees the state of affairs and laughs
scornfully. It inspects the object of my affections
and suggests that the weaker half of me has been
a little taken in; that the said 'object' is far from
perfection and has its shady side, its faults, its
odious defects. My other half shows fight for a
time, but at last it knocks under. This cold douche
cools it down rapidly. My favoritism subsides
into good-fellowship — my angel appears as a man;
the delusion is lost, but our friendship is per-
manent. I and myself come to an understanding,
a little resigned and crushed perhaps but the brief
infidelity is ove^. My dear young friend, you
6o FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
will always be warmly welcome to our common
hearth, but you can never again rouse any jeal-
ousies between us."
Fridolin emphasized his harangue with so much
appropriate dramatic action that Leopold laughed
heartily. He felt as though the " young friend" so
pathetically addressed must appear between the
trees and reply to Fridolin's appeal. However,
as no one came, though Leopold instinctively
turned to see if he were there, he answered the
professor: "At any rate allow me to congratulate
you on having made it up with yourself And if
it is any comfort to you to know it, Fridolin, you
are at any rate an original of the first water —
unique among your kind."
" Unique ! My dear boy, you speak as a
foolish outsider and not as one of the higher in-
telligences. Unique? Believe me, there are
thousands such as I. Many an old bachelor — of
both sexes — many a one who is spoken of as an
oddity, a fogey, or a scarecrow. . . Nay, many
married folks, who live in wedlock much as a fish
lives in sand, are like me — only a little different
in the mixing. We come across them, wonder at
them, laugh at them or are angry with them,
think them singular or eccentric — but we do not
analyze them scientifically, we do not really know
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 6l
them. Indeed, least of all do they know them-
selves. In what am I unique? In this only:
that I have learnt to understand myself; that I
see and know my own hapless position in the uni-
verse. In that I am great !" and he drew himself
up to his full height with comic gravity. " Here
I stand, a subject for scientific research. Study
me, investigate me, master me ! You, to begin
with ; you the man of science, the student of nat-
ure; then take your stand upon me and from
that summit look forth upon the world and seek
the allied phenomena, try to comprehend the
whole. I give myself up to your investigations —
you need not thank , me, I require no thanks.
Prove to me on the contrary the magnificent in-
gratitude of science. Vivisect me, and with re-
morseless disregard of my trivial individuality
solve, through me, one of the mysteries of Nature,
for the benefit of mankind."
As he' ended this speech, delivering it with
due gesture and expression, he quitted the tree,
against which he had again been leaning, and
turned his face towards the ruddy glow that hung
over the city.
" Come," he said, ** let us be going. Look at
your watch — mine has stopped. Half past eight !
So late — it is time we should return to the body-
62 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
. guard — those aspiring youths who can guess at
me perhaps, but who do not understand me.*'
The young men in the parrot-room had
supped; Frau Ritter had disappeared, whither no
one enquired; and the four companions — for
Risotto had not yet returned — remained in their
places, and having done eating, talked and drank
with increased energy, after the nature and cus-
tom of their kind, their voices waxing louder and
louder. They had soon given up anything like a
regular and orderly discussion, for it is a crying
need with the youth of Germany that they should
always all talk at once; Rudolf — who was study-
ing as an engineer — was arguing with one of the
young architects as to the best shape and adjust-
ment for skates; Franz — the other architect —
was discussing the treatment of the nude in paint-
ing with Frivolin. But they were placed at a dis-
advantage, at cross-corners of the large table, and
their difficulties in explaining themselves increased
in proportion as each increase of loudness and
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 6$
emphasis on the part of one speaker, led to a cor-
responding crescendo on the part of all the others.
Through the blue smoke of four cigars four heated
and eager faces were visible, whence flowed four
torrents of vehement speech that met and mingled
in wild confusion in the middle of the table. Pit-
tacus sat on his perch; the hubbub of voices
seemed to have roused him from his slumbers;
but still he was silent, gnawing at a visiting-card
that Frivolin had stuck between the wires of his
cage and restlessly turning his body from side to
" Straps! They are quite out of date — as few
straps as possible !'* cried Rudolf across to his
architect. " We have been hampered long enough
with those d — d inconvenient straps."
"Not Leda and her swan? And pray why
not?" It was Frivolin who spoke. "Why should
not I paint Leda and her swan ..."
"Because I tell you," shouted the young archi-
tect at Rudolf, "in that way every woman must
inevitably come to grief."
"Well then, have your own way — Paint it."
— Franz, leaning over towards Frivolin, was roar-
ing at him at the top of his voice. "Paint it. But
keep it to yourself As for exhibiting it — never.
Not in these days — impossible !"
64 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
"But what business have women on the ice at
all? It is only fit for men. None but a man can
ever skate really well — can ever make an art of
"I deny it; a beautiful woman is a thing of
Beauty and Beauty is the soul of Art; and I will
exhibit it. — A hundred Ledas with a hundred
swans; and without a rag on. My dear fellow. . ."
" Laced boots, that is all. The only essential
thing is laced boots. Otherwise you have no firm-
ness, no hold.''
" It is degrading Art," shouted Franz. " At
that rate it would be a desecration to put sandals
on the feet of the Milo Venus ..."
" Laced boots ! Stuff and nonsense. There
is not the slightest need for them. A man who
is good for anything can skate without laced
" The Milo Venus ! and supposing I could put
her on laced boots — sandals, I mean. It is im-
possible to hear oneself speak !" growled Frivo-
Rudolf's opponent struck the table with his
" Then you mean to say that the man who
skates in anything but sandals. ..."
" Sandals ! I said laced boots."
fridolin's mystical marriage. 65
" Boots and sandals, sandals and boots !" cried
Franz in despair, and as loud as he could shout.
" If you all talk at once, there is an end to all
"Agreement! I should never agree with
you !** retorted Frivolin.
" Who was talking about sandals ?'* said Ru-
" What were you saying about laced boots ?"
" Gentlemen, gentlemen,** roared Franz strik-
ing the table, not with his fist but with a ruler,
" I am going mad. Let us change places or at
any rate let us discuss the question in a more
** A parliamentary debate !*' cried another.
" Mr. President, whose turn is it to speak ?'*
" All right,** said Frivolin a little huskily, " I
Rudolf shook his head doubtfully; a broad
grin beamed on his face — a sure sign that he was
about to make a joke. " There is a better presi-
dent here,** he said, " who, at any rate, will remain
at his post. I propose the Professor extraordinary,
Pittacus the wise, as our president.**
They all laughed — but Rudolf laughed first
A happy thought ! Pittacus the wise, the impartial,
66 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
should preside. " Agreed," shouted the young-
sters unanimously. In two minutes they had
pushed the cage, stand and all, close to the table
and requested the parrot, with all due formalities,
to take the chair as president of their meeting.
They set a glass of wine before him on the table
with some almonds and raisins on a plate.
" What were we talking about ?'* asked Ru-
" Leda and skating," said Franz.
*' I beg to be allowed to speak," said Frivolin,
who since the set-down he had received from the
professor had been doing his best to recover his
dignity by noisy jollity and assertiveness. " Presi-
dent Pittacus — may I speak ?"
The shrewd bird, who had heard many a dis-
cussion carried on in that room, answered to the
great delight of the young men, with the greatest
gravity and quite appropriately: '*Your turn
" He is a genius ; the rascal is a perfect genius!"
" He must be brought before the public. He
is a scientific personage !" said the young archi-
" Take notes ; keep a minute of everything
uttered by Pittacus the wise," added Franz.
fridolin's mystical marriage. 67
Frivolin had risen and looked round him im-
patiently. ** Assuming then/' he began, " that I
wished to remove the sandals and so forth of the
Milo Venus, and paint her with her swan. . .
" What, what ? No more about sandals,
" I scent a scandal. To take off her sandal
would be a scandal,** shouted Rudolf with his
usual laugh at his own wit.
" Oh ! gentlemen, gentlemen, whose turn is it
to speak ? I appeal to the president — it is my
*' Your turn now,** repeated the parrot with his
"Hear, hear!** cried Frivolin. "Pittacus is
wiser than all of us put together. It is my turn. —
Is the Milo Venus a greater fact than Truth?
Impossible. She is not. What do we say of Truth,
the noblest Truth ? We call it the naked Truth.
We like Truth to stand revealed and bare. Well
then, if you come to me and say : Do not reveal
this no less noble Venus, I simply strike my fist
on the table. . . .*'
He struck his fist on the table but Fate did
not grant him a chance of convincing the rest of
the party. The door opposite to him was opened,
and a child, a little girl of six or seven, came in
68 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
with a look of intense curiosity on her shrewd
saucy little face. She had undone one of her
plaits of hair which hung in a tangle over her
shoulder and her little crimped frill was lamenta-
bly crumpled. This queer small person, droll,
rather attractive, hopped in and straight up to the
table, as if she were quite at home.
" Judica — Judica !'* exclaimed the young men.
"Why little Judica, where have you been hiding?*'
asked Franz. " Come and sit up at the table with
your old friends."
"Drink her health."
" Give her a chair next to Pittacus."
But Frivolin drew himself up. " Gentlemen,'*
he said, "highly as I esteem this young lady — '
we are not met here to amuse ourselves with little
girls, but to carry on a serious discussion on the
treatment of the nude in painting. I was speak-
" Start another subject," said Franz. "Judica
is our honored guest ; a subject more suited to
Rudolfs face beamed in anticipation of an-
" Let Judica adjudicate," he said. " She would
be most judicious in the chair."
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 69
" Bravo ! hear, hear ! Judica shall be our
'* Lift her up, chair and all."
" Allow me to observe," FrivoHn went on, and
his voice was getting thick, " that we appointed
Pittacus the wise to the chair. ..."
" And now we appoint Judica the foolish,"
retorted Rudolf's stentorian tones. " Judica takes
the chair," and the two architects echoed : " Ju-
dica takes the chair."
The little girl was already seated in the place
of honor and looked down on them quite un-
** I shall be a very nice president," she said.
*' But do not talk any more stupid nonsense. Sing,
and I will sing too."
** Capital ! Singing is a capital idea," cried the
youngest architect drumming on the table with
Rudolf rose, and taking a withered, dusty
wreath from the bust of a man, rather smaller
than life, that stood on the bookcase, he crowned
Judica with it. " Let us sing a catch," he said.
**Yes one of your funny old catches," said
** Children great and small together !" said
Frivolin with a snort of scornful arrogance ; then
JO FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
he leaned back in his chair and drank deep in his
The others began to sing. The ring of their
voices had been almost washed away, but after the
manner of lads, they let noise do duty for music.
The catch went round, Judica joining in with a
queer little pipe like the crowing of an unfledged
At length Rudolf sprang up, raised his glass
and said : " Mr. President, allow me to speak."
" Fat Rudolf wants to speak," said Judica.
" I am allowed to speak. — Well, I cannot help
it, but I must sing a song — the truest and best
that ever was written. ..."
"Who wrote it?" asked Franz.
"I did. — Who laughs? I wrote it, on my
famous journey to France. That is to say, Leo-
pold and I did together. — Where is Leopold ?"
He looked round, suddenly surprised to find
that Leopold was absent.
"Leopold — he vanished," said Frivolin indif-
"Leopold — he went out with the professor,"
said the other architect meditatively.
Rudolf nodded, a little bewildered.
" Very well," he said. " He is gone away. —
He may stay away, i We wrote this song together
fridolin's mystical marriage. 71
over some Burgundy. It goes like this : — " And
he began, reciting rather than singing the words,
with comical gravity :
•• Drink my Boys, drink,
While good liquor is red ;
Chink the cash, chink.
Till you've paid for the spread.
Long live good living
Until a man's dead."
" That is a very funny song," cried Judica
clapping her hands. And then, prompted no doubt
by the heated faces of her companions, she piped
out in a croaking treble :
" Long live good liquor
Until a man's red."
** Allow me. . . ." said Frivolin suddenly, after
emptying another glass, and he stood up.
" Your turn now," said Judica and the parrot
" If I painted the Milo swan — I mean the
Milo Venus. ..."
But Franz started to his feet and interrupted
** Frivolin !" he exclaimed, and he glanced at
the little girl. " Remember where you are and to
whom you are speaking !"
72 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Frivolin however, who had been cheated of his
speech so many times, was past warning. " If I
paint the Milo Venus as Leda. . . ."
" A plague on your Leda !" cried Rudolf, also
standing up, and their fourth comrade rose too,
protesting with outstretched hands. All four were
on their feet ; only little Judica sat still, gazing at
the excited party in utter astonishment.
*' And if I painted this Milo Leda's swan "
" Hold your tongue !" shouted Rudolf, by this
time quite furious.
** It would be beautiful, perfectly beautiful,"
shrieked Frivolin. But it was written in the stars
that Frivolin was never to finish that speech. At
this instant Franz, who had suddenly blushed
crimson, seized him by the arm and pulled him
round so as to face a young lady who was stand-
ing in the middle of the room. This lady, in a
grey travelling-dress with a black cloak and a very
simple hat over her brown hair, seemed to have
been standing there some minutes before they dis-
covered her presence ; she gazed in astonishment,
first at Judica and then at the young men, and her
dark eyes rested on Frivolin with such an expres-
sion that he felt perfectly bewildered as they
pierced the mists that hung over his brain. Be-
hind her towered Risotto, loaded with umbrellas,
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL. MARRIAGE. 73
rugs, and bags. He had been endeavoring to
telegraph to his companions over the young lady's
head ; but, having no hand free, he had been re-
duced to making hideous and wonderful — but
quite ineffectual — grimaces.
" The Niece," whispered Franz. Rudolf nodded
in some confusion, and repeated : " The Niece."
" Here we are then, Fraulein Ritter !" said
Risotto with his good-humored smile, to break the
sudden and embarrassing silence.
"Yes — here we are," repeated the new-comer
with equal good humor and a very pleasant voice
and she looked round the room. The bottles
and glasses, the heated lads, their remarkable dis-
cussion, and little Judica in the midst with the
dusty wreath of laurel on her head ; the parrot,
who now suddenly began to talk — the whole ex-
traordinary scene completely bewildered her. She
looked at the doors, as though she expected and
hoped to see some one enter who looked fit to be
trusted. However, as no one came she turned to
Franz, who looked as if he were making up his
mind to address her, and stood twitching at his
" Excuse me, gentlemen," she said in some
confusion : " Does the Professor really live here,
or not, after all?"
74 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
** Oh, yes ; he lives here/' replied Franz. ** Oh
yes, certainly !"
** Certainly he lives here,'* confirmed Risotto.
" Then he is not at home, it would seem," said
the young lady with a critical glanceat the com-
" I am sorry to say he is gone out," said
Franz ; and Rudolf stepped forward with the same
" He is gone out."
"With Leopold," added the younger architect;
and then he blushed, reflecting that the young
lady could not know who Leopold was.
" And the Herr Professor's brother ?" asked
The young men could only shrug their shoul-
" No one even knows where he is," said Ris-
otto in explanation.
" And Frau Ritter — my aunt?"
" Is she not in the kitchen ?" Sisked Rudolf.
Risotto opened the door which led, through a
small room, into the kitchen, looked in, and
shook his head.
" She is not in the kitchen," he said:
" Then she has disappeared too," said Franz.
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 75
"Yes, she has disappeared," repeated the
'* And left no trace," added Rudolf.
The young lady could not help exclaiming :
" How very extraordinary !" Her brown eyes
looked anxiously from one to the other and she
clenched her fists in their grey gloves — evidently
from extreme annoyance. She went to the win-
dow and looked out, then she looked at the
young men again ; but an expression between
laughing and crying came over her bright intelli-
gent face when she observed that the party had
already diminished by half Frivolin had van-
ished without uttering a word ; Risotto, under
pretext of putting down the young lady's small
luggage, had followed him; and the younger
architect was in the act of slipping off behind
Risotto. Laughter won the day on the girl's face ;
she set her back with mock heroism against the
window, crossed her arms, and seemed prepared
to wait patiently for whatever might happen.
" If I could be of any use to you. ..." said
Franz after a long pause.
" Thank you," she said. " I want nothing."
"A chair "
" Not even a chair; I can stand here."
Little Judica had slipped off her seat and v
^^ FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Standing in the middle of the room staring fixedly
at her future governess as being a not uninterest-
ing, though somewhat unpleasing, apparition. She
did not speak nor stir till the sound of shuffling
steps coming from the kitchen diverted her atten-
" Thank God !" she exclaimed with a little
sigh. " Here is my papa."
" Ah !" cried Franz. " The Herr Pastor."
" The Professor's brother," added Rudolf, in a
The pastor came in, not as before, wrapped in
his dingy grey gown, but dressed to go out, with
his hat in his hand, his expression as anxious
and desponding as though he were a lost soul
going forth to meet his judge ; nor did it detract
from his forlorn appearance that his coat-collar
was only half turned down and the clasp stuck up.
His long hair was all unkempt and tumbling over
his ears ; his whole aspect slovenly and uncared-
for. The sight of the young lady standing by the
window completed his discomfiture ; he gazed at
her with a sort of desperation, and made as though
he would beat a prompt retreat but that resolution
" I say," whispered Rudolf to Franz, " we
might sneak off now."
fridolin's mystical marriage. ^^
** Yes, let us go."
The new-comer might have fancied that she
had been dreaming ; the uproarious party of body-
guards had vanished so noiselessly. Nothing re-
mained but the empty bottles and glasses, the
parrot, Judica, and now — like a new personage
in her dream — the queer figure of Pastor Philip.
" Fraulein Ritter, I believe," said he uneasily.
"Just so," she replied, bowing slightly.
" The governess, — my daughter's governess?"
" I have that honor."
The hapless pastor, who for choice would have
spent the evening in a desert, and who had never
in his life been called upon to do the honors to a
young lady in his own house, replied — for the
sake of saying something — : *' You have — yes —
you have that honor. That is to say ..."
'' That is to say . . . ?" she asked, greatly as-
** I meant to say," he stammered, waving his
hat vaguely in the air, " I am leaving early to-
morrow morning; I and my daughter..." he
looked for Judica ; but the child was gone. She
had slipped out after the body-guard.
"You leave early to-morrow morning?"
"With your permission, yes."
" And I r asked the girl.
78 fridolin's mystical marriage.
"Yes, and you ..." replied the pastor, looking
helplessly in her face, as though he expected her
to reply. " It is a long and confused story," he
" So it would seem, sir."
"The reasons which prompt me to leave . . ."
and he let his hat fall on the floor, but hastily
picked it up again and clasped it closely to his
lean body; "when you know my brother — but
of course you do not know him."
" No," she said, gazing at him in increased
astonishment; she was beginning to think this
house a very queer place. " May I be allowed to
ask where my aunt is ?"
" Your aunt ? Did she not meet you at the
" No, certainly not."
" How strange. How very odd ! She was
going out ; and she asked me which station it was
— and I told her . . ."
" You told her ?"
" The Stettin station."
" Ah !" cried the girl, " then she is probably
waiting there still."
" Why ?"
"Because I came by the Frankfort line, as I
wrote to the professor, — as geography suggests."
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 79
Pastor Philip laughed awkwardly. *' How
strange. How very odd!"
" Remarkably odd/' said she, with ironical
At these words, of which he dimly felt the
purport, the hapless pastor seemed annihilated;
he took his hat in his other hand, and murmured,
scarcely audibly : " Excuse me pray — business,
— I must be going," and he made for the door.
" I beg your pardon," cried the girl, who had
colored deeply ; " allow me to detain you a mo-
ment ; will you at least have the goodness to tell
me what all this means ? I come here as I am
desired ; I find no aunt ; no master of the house ;
on the contrary, a sort of orgy going on ; I find
the little girl whom I am to educate in the
most — well, in the strangest company; and to
crown all, I find that you — as you tell me, —
intend to set out early to-morrow morning."
" For reasons — which, unfortunately . . . ."
stammered Pastor Philip. . . .
" And at the same time you dimly give me to
understand that I am in the way, though you
leave me to discover why ; and when you have
done me the favor to put me into this very awk-
ward position, you say you must leave me !"
" Oh no ! If you wish it I will stay ..."
8o fridolin's mystical marriage.
" I do not wish you to stay," said the young
girl, blushing still more deeply, — **but on general
grounds I do wish that you would favor me with
some explanation of the state of affairs — that you
would treat me in some degree as a human
being ..." she broke off, for she heard steps, some
one coming ; and a figure appeared in the door-
way. She breathed a sigh of relief, and involun-
tarily murmured : " At last here is a reasonable
Fridolin and Leopold had almost reached
home, when Fridolin once more came to a stand-
still and said :
" Well, and your love affair, my boy, the
young lady — what was her name ?*'
" Nothing," replied Leopold.
" Nothing ?"
" No. It came to nothing. She was no good.*'
" It came to nothing ?"
*' No. When I studied her scientifically, I dis-
covered her to be of the genus cat ; /e/ts com-
munis y Linnaeus.''
"Precocious youth. — You are much to be
pitied, you naturalists. You sit next a girl at sup-
per, say ; tall, slim, as fresh as a rose-bud, fair —
we will say fair — with bright eyes, a merry laugh,
full of fun, rosy fingered, as sweet as flowers and
fruit. We old fellows feel our hearts leap and
dance for joy, while you young naturalists, you
men of science, you have no time to admire ; you
analyze, you dissect, anatomize, vivisect. You strip
off all her charms, one after another, as you would
82 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
peel an onion ; then you spread out what is left,
and you say : ' Look here ; now we can deter-
mine her species. She is a cat. — She is a blue-
stocking ; — she is a peacock ; I might have fallen
in love if she had not been a peacock — but you
see — she is neither more nor less than a peacock,
a tedious business,' and he yawns. Then he goes
home. He wraps himself up in flannel, — the
doctors recommend flannel — he goes to bed, and
dreams of writing an essay in a magazine, on
comparative anatomy, which shall make him
famous as the greatest naturalist of the day. When
he gets up again, behold, he is just the same con-
ceited goose as he was when he went to bed.'*
" Thank you ; I am greatly obliged, I am sure/*
said Leopold, wringing his friend's hand.
" Well, is the description a false one ?" Leo-
pold's answer was a good-humored smile. At last
he said : " Perhaps it is."
'' You think so ?"
" Only in the last feature of the diagnosis ; he
goes to bed, not wrapped in flannel, fuming with
rage over his wasted evening, over the rosy-fin-
gered maiden with her superior education and her
shallow nature, over the disturbing results of sQjen-
tific knowledge, over himself generally. He goes
to bed ; he tries to sleep, but he cannot ; a maiden
fridolin's mystical marriage. 83
stands by his pillow and whispers in his ear. * Ah !'
says he, 'so you are there.* And she seats her-
self on a chair by his bed, and smiles — and then
he is happy. ..."
" A maiden ! Who ?"
" My future bride, the ske of my existence."
Fridolin opened his eyes very wide : What !
This young naturalist had an ideal too ! Or — per-
haps not an ideal, but a dream of flesh and
" At present, my dear fellow," added Leopold
smiling, " I know neither who nor where she
is ; neither her native land nor her parents. She
will probably arrive through the key-hole, and go
— straight through my head."
" Why the boy is an idealist ; and you love
" Yes. She will be the right stuff. A lovable
woman, Fridolin ; wise and thoughtful ; self-willed
occasionally, very pleasant to look upon. Well, there
she sits, and we converse — and our talk is more
to the purpose than all that has been said since
the time of Adam and Eve. At the same time
we are generally to the full as rational as we are
tender, true children of our age — a rational age.
Now and then she looks in when I am at work ;
suddenly she is leaning over my shoulder, in her
84 fridolin's mystical marriage.
gentle way, and reads what I am writing with a
look of intelligence — she often has that look —
and then, then I am quite content ; I am at
peace; I analyze no more."
" And she, of course, loves you ?"
" Yes. And this love of so perfect a creature,
though I do not even know her name, makes me
" Hm ! and if you should meet this perfect
creature in the flesh, what then ?"
" I shall meet her, FridoHn. I cannot doubt it.
And when we do meet, that very day we shall tell
each other that we were made for each other."
To this Fridolin made no reply ; he went in-
It was not till he had crossed the court- yard
and reached the entrance to his sky-parlor, that he
looked back at Leopold, who had followed him in
" My son," said he, with an expression of the
greatest satisfaction, " I withdraw all I said ; thank
you ; you are as great a fool as I."
Leopold laughed sympathetically, and they
went upstairs together. When they reached the
landing outside Fridolin's rooms, they heard a
pleasant, though somewhat excited, woman's voice :
Leopold opened the door very softly ; the voice
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 85
seemed to attract him ; for instead of going in, he
stood still to listen. Fridolin did the same. At
last the feminine voice said : — ** But on general
grounds, I should be glad if you would do me the
favor to explain the situation."
" Now is our time,*' said the professor, and he
went in first. But he could not help smiling as he
saw the profound discomfiture of his brother
Philip, who stood all in a heap, staring through
his long hair, which had fallen over his face. The
young lady, on the contrary, at once recovered
her presence of mind ; the blushes faded from her
face, and the professor caught the flattering words :
" At last here is a rational being.'*
He instantly went towards her, with his most
Egmont-like air, made her his most chivalrous
bow, and said :
'* Allow me, to begin with, to inform you that
this is my house, and that I came into the world a
year after my brother for the express purpose of
putting everything to rights that he puts wrong.
You, no doubt, are Fraulein Ottilie Ritter," — to
which she bowed assent. " And, no doubt, my
reverend brother has been doing something which
our worldly wisdom will be required to make right
again. Be quiet one moment, my dear Philip, I
beg of you — one moment, — he has been telling
86 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
you, I see, that he means to leave to-morrow.
But he says that every Saturday ; Saturday is his
worst day. He generally writes his sermon on
Saturday ; — now, my dear Philip, do be quiet one
moment — he will not leave to-morrow. We shall
all stay here together ; your aunt will roast and
boil; my brother will eat and drink; you will
make a little angel of his daughter, till some day
you hand her over to a handsome husband.
" Pray take your things off, I see you still have
your gloves on. Danish gloves ! — so are mine ;
you accumulate quite a little fortune by degrees,
by wearing only the cheap Danish kind. Have
you had any supper ? — No ? Your smile says
no." — ** A most charming and intelligent smile,'*
he added to himself ** I had a horrible suspicion
that it was so. My dear Leopold — do not wait
to analyze this young lady, but see if you can-
not procure her some food. Aunt Ritter — where
on earth is Aunt Ritter ?"
The young lady, with a glance at the pastor,
said : " We are waiting for her."
'' Waiting for her ?"
** Yes, she is not come in yet. Allow me, in
her absence, to take her duties upon myself; let
me help to get supper ready." And as she spoke
she disappeared through the door, behind Leopold.
FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 87
Fridolin looked after her. '* Aunt Ritter/' said
he, ** you seem to me to have been remarkably
happy in your choice of a niece. — But there is an
overpowering smell of tobacco in this room ; the
boys smoke ! — By the bye — the body-guard have
vanished. What has become of them all ?'* He
went to the window, threw it open to admit the
fresh air, and repeated :
" Philip, what has become of them ?*'
** Happily for me, it is no business of mine to
look after your body-guard," replied the luckless
pastor, at last daring to speak. " I cannot tell you
where they are ; I do not know — all I know is —
'' What now ?"
" You say I shall not leave to-morrow. But
you have not read my letter — my letter to you.
It is in your room — on your writing-table."
** No, I will read it I promise you ; and then I
will make a match of it, and after supper we will
use it to light the pipe of peace."
" Then you insist on my remaining, even after
what has passed between us ?"
" Certainly I insist; because. . . ." He broke
off, and gazed out of the window, into the night
" Because. . . . ?" asked the pastor.
88 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Fridolin turned round ; a strange moisture
stood in his eyes.
"Because — because I have undertaken to
cure you ; and your cure is not complete ; and
because I promised my mother — your mother —
on her death-bed that I would always look after
you ; and because — we are both of us too old to
behave like a couple of sulky boys."
And he turned away, and went off to the
" Something in me seems to strike you very
strangely," Fraulein Ottilie was saying, as she
busied herself with the plates and knives ; and she
smiled at Leopold, who was standing before her
with a large dish in both hands, ** for instead of
doing anything rational with that dish, you are
absorbed in contemplating me."
The young man started as if from a dream.
" I beg your pardon — do something with the
dish ?" and he handed it over to the clumsy
kitchen-maid, and again stood transfixed. ** Cer-
tainly I am behaving like a fool !"
" The expression is too hard," replied the girl
with her quiet smile of subtle humor.
" By Heaven ! You are she !" he suddenly ex-
" I am who ?"
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 89
" And yet you are not/' he muttered, after
looking her so hard in the face that she colored
" I do not understand you — four persons —
four plates — and these small dessert knives. —
Now, mein Herr, having made yourself so ex-
tremely useful, you may join the gentlemen and
leave the women's realm, the kitchen, in posses-
sion of the women."
" It is she !" said Leopold once more.
" Really," she said, and she looked at him with
some annoyance, ** I do not in the least under-
" I beg your pardon. — You must think mc as
idiotic as a schoolboy. — And yet there is a ques-
tion — an absurd question — almost on the tip of
my tongue." The girl looked at him doubtfully.
*^May I ask it?"
" Tell me — I fear — I am not he ?"
She stared, no longer doubtful but horrified ;
in spite of his perfectly sane and quiet demeanor
she thought for an instant he must be mad. She
made no reply.
" Ah !" he said, with his soft melancholy smile,
" I see too plainly what you think of me — tell me
truly — you feel nothing unusual at the sight of
90 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
me ; nothing at all ? I remind you of nothing ?
You have nothing particular — nothing at all to
say to me ?"
" No," she said, and paused, ** No."
" Thank you — that is to say — pardon me. I
must appear to you as a madman, of course. —
Not as an inquirer, a naturalisj, — not even as a
rational being. — Still, if only I could tell you, —
but I cannot. And you are so like — and then
again you are not. No you are not."
** What nonsense is the lad talking now ?" cried
Fridolin, who had been standing in the door- way,
and now came in. " I wonder what he is talking
" So do I," said Ottilie, who had recovered her
presence of mind, and she laughed.
'* Fraulein Ottilie, supper is ready," said the
professor. ** Do not wait to understand our young
friend here, but come and be fed. — And at des-
sert I will tell you of an idea that struck me the
instant I saw you."
*' Every one seems to be struck with ideas at
the sight of me," thought the girl as she went into
the dining-room and set the plates on the table.
" What kind of idea ?" asked Pastor Philip,
who had shuffled after the professor.
" What kind of idea ? — Well, that in a week I
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 9 1
shall be free ; that I had promised Judica to take
her for a journey, as soon as we had the indis-
pensable feminine guardian angel for her; that
here she is; that a little tour will be the very-
thing for you. . . .'*
'' A tour in April ?"
" Across the Alps ; to the Italian lakes, to the
promised land of Italy.*'
' ** To Italy,'* squeaked Judica's voice ; the
child, who had crept out of the professor's room,
clapped her hands for joy. ** Hurrah, hurrah, to
Italy. — Aunt Ritter is coming," cried she, sud-
denly changing her tone.
"Yes, I hear her!" exclaimed the professor,
going with great dignity to open the door of the
landing. Ottilie dropped the last table-napkin
and rushed after him. Leopold, still in the
kitchen, gazed at her : " No, it is not she," he said
to himself *' I really thought she was. If only
she had been struck at the sight of me. — But she
was not. — We are nothing to each other — Fri-
dolin is right. I am but a fool !"
Little Judica was standing at the open win-
dow, and gazing dreamily, as children are wont,
out at the clear sky.
'* What are you thinking of, child ?'* asked
Fraulein Ottilie, who was sitting at the other win-
dow, with a book in her hand which she was read-
ing with the greatest attention. *' Come here and
tell me all you are thinking about. '*
The child flew to her side, and kneeling down
by her, set her two sharp little elbows on the
young lady's lap. ** What was I thinking?'* she
said — ** first I thought. . . ."
" First of all do not sputter and mumble, but
speak so distinctly that every word, every syllable,
may be heard. And then do not scream, but feel
your voice a little lower down in your throat. —
Now, begin once more.'*
*' Well, first of all I was thinking — just when
you asked me — how strange everything is ; how
everything has changed. Here we are, living in
Italy, by the side of this blue lake, where every-
thing is quite green already, and where real olive
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 95
trees are growing on those fearfully high rocks — I
say/' she suddenly exclaimed, '* do you know
what I know? It is here that the rods are cut
that they flog naughty children with ; I have tried
them ; they do capitally."
" That is extremely interesting. But now tell
me what else you think so very strange.*'
" What else ? — Well, papa is not half so cross
as he used to be in Berlin, but is a much nicer
" Cross is not a pretty word, my child ; you
mean sad or gloomy."
" Yes, that is what I mean ; — and then papa
and Uncle Fridolin do not quarrel as they used to
do, since you have been with us, and since we
have been here. And then I am not at all afraid
of you now, but love you dreadfully much — oh.
Yes, I love you ever so much." And she sprang
up and hugged Ottilie with such violence that the
young lady cried out : " You cruel little monster,
you are almost stifling me. — And you yelped out
your love like a young puppy. Now, say it once
more; I love you ever so much."
" I love you ever so much," repeated the child
in the sweetest and most affectionate tone. " As
for puppies," she went on, fired by a new idea,
" the landlord down-stairs has a whole family of
94 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
dogs ; the papa is called Corbo and the mamma
Spiega ; and they have three children, and two are
given away. Aunt Ottilie — Uncle Fridolin can-
not bear dogs — not any dogs ; but he can bear
you, he likes you — very much."
** Indeed ?" said Ottilie, smiling and color-
** Why do you turn so red ?" asked Judica,
whom nothing ever escaped. ** Do you know what
he said? That you were the best governess in
the world, and he said to me : ' Since Aunt Ottilie
has been here, you little vagabond have become
quite like a human creature ; mind you always do
as she bids you.' — Aunt Ottilie, I know all the
ten commandments, I can tell you what they all
are ; shall I tell you the sixth ?"
Ottilie could not help laughing at the child's
self-sufficient innocence. " A weed sown in the
days of the body-guard,'' thought she ; " there are
many of them to pull up." And she took the
little girl on her lap with an instinct of motherli-
ness, and kissed the baby lips.
Judica returned the caress with interest ; then
she said: "Tell me; are all papas and uncles as
fond of governesses as my papa and Uncle Frido-
The young lady was very near blushing again.
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 95
** And is it not very nice to be a governess ? Shall
I be a governess one day ?**
** First you must learn not to be such a chatter-
box, and not to make such faces as you do now."
This reduced Judica to silence for a few
minutes ; Ottilie gently stroked her face as if to
wipe away the last grimace, and the child sat quite
still. At length she said, as if waking from a deep
reverie: "Aunt Ottilie."
'* Does God know already what I shall be some
day?" Ottilie smiled.
" As he knows all things, my child, he must of
course know that."
''Yes — but. . . ." said Judica with a very
shrewd look, " suppose he were to be mistaken. I
daresay he thinks I shall be a mother ; but if
people are all so fond of governesses, I would
much rather be a governess."
" Do you think so ?" replied Ottilie, with all
the gravity she could command.
" What is that piece of paper ?" she asked, as
Judica took a scrap of paper out of her pocket
and unfolded it. " Verses ? — where did you get
hold of those ?"
" That I will tell you presently," said the little
girl slyly, " when you have read them to me !
96 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Please do read them aloud ; Uncle FridoHn writes
so very small and so queerly that I cannot make
it out at all." Ottilie looked at the document, but
instead of reading it aloud she read to herself —
the following poem :
•• Oft do I seek the shady grove
To quell the ardor of my love.
The nymph that guards the echo lies
In silence till she hears my sighs
— Love. Woe is me ; I love —
In mockery of my mournful cries
Echo replies : I love.
" O ! thou, the only maid I love,
The maid I seek where e'er I rove,
Thy fate should be my fondest care
If yielding to my passion's prayer
— Love. Woe is me; I love —
If from thy lips I might but hear
Echo's response : — "
** Well, are not you going to read them to
me ?" said the little girl at last.
" No ? Why not ?"
'* Because they were not meant for a small
goose to read ; you would not understand them.
Look me in the face ; you promised you would al-
ways tell me the truth."
** Yes, and I always do."
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 9/
*' How did you come by this paper ? Where
did you take it from ?'*
" It was just lying there. . . ."
" Where was it lying ?'*
'* Where was it lying ? You must promise not
to scold me then. . . .'*
** You must make no bargains ; you have only
to speak the truth.'*
" Where was it lying ? Well — on Uncle
Fridolin's writing-table; on his large portfolio. '*
" It is his hand-writing/' thought Ottilie. '* A
most love-lorn poem, certainly.'*
** Well — now are you cross with me ?"
*' My child, what would you do if some one
came and took away your doll, or your bread and
butter — or your picture-book — if only in fun —
and you hunted and hunted for it and could not
find it ? Why, you would cry and howl like a
watch-dog. Uncle Fridolin will not howl, but he
will be just as sorry."
" I will take it back, ever so quickly," said
Judica, remorsefully, and she sprang down. ** Give
it to me quick, Aunt Ottilie."
'* There it is," said Ottilie — but she still held
it in her hand, while she once more glanced down
the lines. **Oft do I seek the shady grove," — "O !
thou the only maid I love," — what put it into
98 fridolin's mystical marriage.
her head she did not know, but it suddenly struck
her that the first letters of the lines were the same
in both verses. First O — then T — then T again
— and she was startled — O — ^T — T — I — L — I — E.
— Qttilie — her own name.
But at this stage of her reflections, the little
girl, bent on repairing her fault, impatiently
snatched the paper from Ottilie's grasp and flew
off with it.
It was no small relief to Ottilie to find herself
alone. She could not have concealed the tell-tale
blushes that tingled in her cheeks ; she was startled
and deeply moved. These verses were addressed
to her. — And by him. Love and passion ; crav-
ing for hers. " I love.'* " If from thy lips I might
but hear echo's response;'* — and she repeated
this line more than once. Presently she discovered
that something strange had come over her ; there
was a pleasant warmth about her heart, as if all
the blood had rushed to the spot. A gentle thrill
vibrated through her nerves. An unwonted glow
of vigor, of courage, of eager feeling fired her
brain and rushed through all her limbs. She in-
voluntarily began to sing ; in fact she was aware
of a sort of possession.
"Good Heavens!" thought she, "what has
come over me ?" — A sound as of some one at the
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 99
door brought her to her senses. To hide her burn-
ing and radiant face she went to the window and
The morning sun lay on the bare brown rock,
climbed the steep cliffs, floated across the calm
blue surface of the lake, which dashed in sparkling
waves at the bottom of the hotel garden, and
seemed to send up a fresh dewy breath to cool
Ottilie's brow and cheeks. To the right, where the
lake was shut in by a little bay, built round with
houses, a carriage- road wound up the hill in zig-
zags of dazzling whiteness. Eyes as sharp as
Ottilie's could just discern the figure of a man in
a green overcoat wending his way down the slope;
and presently, by his beard, his slightly swagger-
ing gait, and the plaid over his shoulder, she could
identify Rim as Professor Fridolin. *' Oft do I seek
the shady grove,*' murmured Ottilie to herself, and
she could not help laughing for sheer content-
" What are you laughing at ?*' asked a familiar
hollow voice close to her ear.
** Control yourself," said she to herself, though
she could not help starting. " His daughter's
governess. — Laugh again."
She laughed again and turned round. Pastor
Philip's tall figure filled the door- way ; he was as
lOO FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
awkward as ever, but his face wore an expression
of confidence and contentment, though it was still
sallow and colorless.
" May I come in ?" he added with almost jocose
gravity. " There you stand alone at the window,
laughing to yourself at something. Merciful
Heaven ! How can you have such spirits ? May
I be allowed to ask what you are doing — and
what made you laugh ?"
"Blessings on a man," thought Ottilie, "who
speaks so slowly that he gives one time to collect
one's ideas. — I will confess to you, Herr Pastor,"
she added aloud, "a nonsensical notion entered
my head ; and that made me laugh."
" If I were to laugh at all the nonsense that
comes into my head I might be laughing from
morning till night," said the pastor, with his melan-
choly humor. " However we need not discuss
that — I came to speak about these flowers and
grasses. Would you do me the favor," and he came
a little nearer, hat in hand — and she then saw that
he carried a bunch of flowers half hidden by the
hat, — " would you do me the favor — as they are
only wild flowers — April flowers — and as they
are the first " — the worthy man's lip quivered a
little — " the first I have cared to gather for many
years.. I thought it would be best not to carry
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. lOI
them in my warm hand, but in my hat ; so I came
home without my hat — with the flowers in the
hat, covered from the sun with this pocket-hand-
kerchief — this clean pocket-handkerchief — if you
would allow me, Fraulein Ottilie. ..."
But she interrupted him eagerly : ** What! you
walked bare-headed — in this broiling sun — for
the sake of these flowers. ..."
She forgot, however, that it was impossible to
interrupt the pastor in the middle of a speech ; it
was a thing no one had ever succeeded in doing.
He waved the handkerchief, as a herald, sent to
parley, might wave his white flag to bespeak a
truce, and as she involuntarily ceased speaking, he
went on : "In allowing myself, Fraulein Ottilie,
the pleasure of laying these flowers from the shores
of the lake, at your feet, I hope — I intend that
they should convey to you a message — should
plead to you for forgiveness. ..."
" Good Heavens! I have nothing to forgive. . ."
she exclaimed ; but he went on all the same : "for
forgiveness — if indeed such conduct, — so clumsy
— so senseless, can ever be altogether forgiven ; —
I mean — I need not tell you that I mean. . . ."
" No," said she smiling, " we both know and
we have both forgotten." This interruption seemed
to afford the pastor unmixed satisfaction, he was
I02 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
silent for a few minutes, and even appeared re-
signed to sacrifice the close of his harangue ; how-
ever, he made a last effort to finish it : "I mean
that first evening when I received you so — awk-
wardly, so rudely — never dreaming what a bless-
ing I, a poor, short-sighted man, might have
scared away from under my roof What a blessing,
my dear young lady," — here he took her hand
and held it.
"What a blessing!" Ottilie could not help
looking in his face with some emotion; though
she thought to herself: *' His hand is at fever-
heat." — "I did not hear you swear that evening,"
she said, " and I cannot see what special blessing
I have brought you."
" What special blessing ? — In the first place
there is my Judica ; she was a neglected, misman-
aged, half- wild creature, morally crooked — in a
few weeks you have completely tamed her ; I see
and wonder, but I cannot understand it. In the
second place, there is Judica's father:" and he
smiled, " a gloomy, tottering ruin ; you came up
to him with your small, nimble fingers, you bring
new materials — cheerfulness, trustfulness, human
love," he hesitated — " womanly — womanly gen-
tleness and grace, and patched up the ruin so skil-
fully that it is really beginning to be fit for human
fridolin's mystical marriage. 103
habitation ; that men say to themselves : ' Let it
stand a few years longer in Heaven's name ; it is
a mere wreck, but it still holds together.* — In the
third place there is my brother. ..."
" I give up all idea of interrupting him,"
thought Ottilie. " There is my brother ; he was
beginning to feel lonely, an old batchelor, fidgety,
fractious ; — but the fresh air that you have brought
into our narrow lives has made him young again.
Although at the same time his vehemence and his
violence have grown young again too, embittering
his enmity to the church and his irritability with
" His enmity to the church ? That I must say
I have never discovered in the professor. . ."
" I know you always take his part !" exclaimed
the pastor, with an angry smile. " I know very
well that you will defend him, and agree with him ;
even when he speaks of the self-assertion of the
temporal power, and its brutal attacks on the
church, as a blessing to mankind. . ."
" Well," said Ottilie, " perhaps in the heat of
argument, the professor may sometimes go a little
too far. . ."
** Perhaps, do you say perhaps ? and some-
times ? Allow me to tell you that my brother
has never had a discussion without going too far ;
I04 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
and that it surprises me greatly to find you so
tolerant of attacks on all that ought to be most
sacred. If you. . ." he interrupted himself — "but
I was far from wishing to have any discussion with
you this morning ; only when you try to defend
all his exaggerated views, and all his heresies."
" Not his exaggerated views. . ." Ottilie threw
"Not his exaggerated views — only his here-
sies then !" He shook his head. " That is what
you would imply — that you must admit. Well,
tell him — tell this enthusiastic eulogist of a des-
potic government, this foe of the church, whose
part you take so warmly — tell him, I say, that he
has never taken the trouble to study church-his-
tory; or else he would know that the hardest
blows dealt by a despotic government, have never
had any other effect than to awaken men's con-
sciences and invigorate their faith. Tell this fanatic
for secular government that it is written in a cer-
tain sacred book : ' Ye came out as against a thief,
with swords and staves, for to take me . . . But all
this was done that the scriptures of the prophets
might be fulfilled.' Tell this man, who, as you say
perhapSy sometimes^ goes too far, that I, thank
God, have succeeded in bringing myself to con-
template his intemperance with Christian forbear-
fridolin's mystical marriage. 105
ance, or, as he would say, with philosophy ; that
I believe in One alone whom I will never deny,
and that One shall incessantly speak to his con-
science declaring : Without religion you are, and
ever must be, merely a higher kind of ape/*
With these words he turned away, forgetting
his hat — in which the flowers were still lying —
and holding his handkerchief instead of his hat,
he left the room with long slow steps.
'' There he goes, as usual, through the wrong
door," thought Ottilie, as she looked after him. It
was the door which led through her bedroom and
so into the passage. ** It would seem that my chief
function here is as lightning-conductor ; this is, I
think, the fourth theological storm that has dis-
charged itself on me instead of on the professor. —
All right," — and she laughed, "at any rate, it
A cheerful, rhythmical rap at the door in ana-
pests — short, short, long ; short, short, long —
at the door interrupted her reflections.
*' Come in," said she, and Fridolin appeared.
He had adopted this ceremony of knocking, though
this room was their common sitting-room. His
radiant and jolly face was pale as usual, though
his walk in the sun had made him warm ; for, as
his friends said, by an oversight of nature he was
io6 fridolin's mystical marriage.
incapable of a blush. Ottilie on the contrary-
colored deeply, looking crimson by contrast. As
far as possible she avoided looking at him ; feeling
as though his verses must be written in his face,
and consideration for his feelings must forbid her
reading them there.
** Good morning,*' was all she found to say, in
reply to his hearty greeting.
" Travelling in Italy certainly prolongs life,"
said Fridolin. ** To-day is the eighth Sunday of a
week of Sundays ! Is it true, Fraulein Ottilie,
that, as Judica tells me, you expect your brother
here to-morrow ?"
**Yes, on his way to Rome; with a travelling
** Lucky fellow. — But at this moment I envy
nobody. — ^Was not my brother with you just now ?
Or was I mistaken in thinking that I heard him
shuffling across the pavement of the corridor ?"
"You were not mistaken," she replied with an
awkward smile ; " he was here a minute ago."
'*To hold counsel, no doubt, with you — our
Italian dictionary, our walking grammar ? or per-
haps to complain of me to you ? to preach an-
other crusade against me ?"
*' Your brother would be the last man to do
that I should think," she answered soothingly.
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. lO/
" According to your notions. You evidently re-
gard him as a mild Nazarene ; you take him under
your angel's wings whenever he is mentioned, and
defend him like a mother. But when I said the
other day that, if it were only the sixteenth cen-
tury, he would have me, his brother, burnt alive,
you tried to convince me that I was a malignant
wretch and he an angel. I know, of course, that
you and he are in league against me; you are
ready to found a new sect who will consign all
who do not agree with them to the monkeys' cage
in the zoological gardens. You will have one built
on purpose for me, and ticket me : Fridolin, the
godless state-ape, or reasoning gorilla ; called by
some the aesthetic baboon. Beware, he spits and
bites. . ."
" Well done !" said Ottilie laughing. " Now,
is your brother wrong when he says that you ex-
*' There you see, you always take his part ; I
can hardly say three words, and the whole sect
cries out that I exaggerate. As to my being right
on the main point, — as to my exaggeration, as
you call it, being in fact the absolute and eternal
truth, that is a mere trifle. — Why you are laugh-
"Because it seems to me, as I told you
I08 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
yesterday, that you mistake me for your broth-
" Mistake ? I only wish to defend myself
against his attacks, and you, my dear lady, strike
my weapon out of my hand ; what am I to do ?
I pick it up again and turn on you. — Do you
really think, Fraulein Ottilie, that a love for beauty,
for what is right and reasonable — peaceful and
ideal though it be, — has not its combative side ;
a hatred, no less ideal, for all that is hostile to
beauty and reason ? Do you think that we men
of art and science are never to enter the lists and
do battle in the service of the spirit of our age ? —
Do you think Fraulein Ottilie. . ."
'* But really and truly I have not attempted to
contradict you ; I only ventured to say that your
brother. . .**
" The poor man who is so annoyed by my ex-
aggeration, so injured by my calumnies. — Have
the goodness to look at this newspaper ; here, on
this page, you can see for yourself . ."
*' Thank you, but I can believe without read-
ing — everything. . ."
** You believe it ? You believe that this church-
mole, this owl-headed simpleton, is in the right ;
this scoundrel who writes in German as his mother-
tongue, and who, nevertheless wants to set the
fridolin's mystical marriage. 109
German nation at loggerheads once more — to
burn up all German science as so much waste-
paper — to see all German poetry destroyed as so
much heathen abomination ? Do you subscribe
to these views, Fraulein Ottilie ? It must be out
of mere partisanship with my brother. . .'*
" No, no — I do not subscribe to that. I think
it perverse and wrong, and I am sure that the
pastor would think so too. . ."
*' You are sure — but of course you stand open-
armed to defend him. — Well, you have only to
ask him yourself; give him this newspaper; ask
him to read this funeral sermon, as I call it, over
Germany, and then ask him if he is really pre-
pared to face the consequences to which such per-
secutions must lead. Ask him whether he prefers
to be an orthodox believer on the side of these
carrion crows, or 'a higher kind of ape' on the side
of culture, with lofty ideals, a glorious country,
and free thought."
He laid the paper on the table near her, and
his eyes sparkled with such a light of conviction
that she had no answer ready at the moment.
However, Judica's voice was heard in the next
room and the professor turned to go.
*' Only ask him, only ask him," he repeated
once more. "And tell him, most amiable
no fridolin's mystical marriage.
enemy, what I, the reasoning gorilla, have said to
Ottilie watched him go; — he went through
the right door — and as soon as it was closed be-
hind him she threw herself on a chair ; she hardly
knew whether she felt most inclined to laugh or
to cry. She took up the newspaper in one hand,
and the pastor's hat with the flowers in the other.
Then she could not help laughing outright; —
though something troubled her — she could not
"Yes/' she reflected, "it is quite possible that
I might become indispensable to them ; for since
I have been here they have had all the pleasures
of discussion without the discomforts of quarrel-
ling. I serve as their man of straw; I am the
organ in which their leading articles are made
public. They exhaust their eloquence on me and
go away much relieved ; they begin again on the
old footing of daily civility and brotherly feeling.
I really shall begin to think myself a valuable
member of society," She rose, and a gleam of
satirical humor crept into her smile; the verses
came into her mind again. " O ! thou, the only
maid I love. The maid I seek. . ." She could
remember no more.
"Good Heavens!" said she. "For a lover
FRIDOLIN'S mystical marriage. Ill
who writes verses to me, he certainly gave me a
fine talking to. — Are you there little one ?" she
went on, to the child who now came in. " Where
have you been all this time ?"
'* I put the paper back on Uncle Fridolin's
writing-table; and then I stood looking out of the
window; — and then. . ."
" Well, and then ?'*
The child had nothing more to say. " I looked
out of window — that was all."
** Idle little monkey. I will give you something
to do. — You are sure you put the paper back in
the same place ?"
" Oh ! yes — I think so — I cannot remember
exactly now. . ."
*' Perhaps then,"^ said Ottilie in an undertone,
*' I had better see to it myself . ."
She led Judica into the professor's room, which
looked out into the garden ; and through the open
window they could see Fridolin, sitting in an al-
cove by the lake.
" Now, where is this unlucky piece of paper ?"
she asked the child. Why did she ask ; she al-
ready had discovered it.
*'Here," said Judica, "and this is where I
" You are quite sure ?"
112 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Ottilie took it once more in her hand. The
small neat writing seemed to please her fancy.
Her eyes glanced down the lines and her lips
silently followed the words. " Did he leave them
here on purpose I wonder, that I might find them/'
thought she, ** when I remarked the other day, in
joke, that I could never help seeing what was
written on any scrap of paper, however minutely,
because my eyes are so sharp — I wonder whether
he noticed it. . ." she was now at the last lines:
•' If from thy lips I might but hear
Echo's response : "
" Did he hope I wonder, that echo would write
in the missing words? — *I love.' How does it
sound ? . . ."
And she suddenly realized that she loved him.
She raised her eyes, — and the paper dropped
from her hand. Leopold was standing just in front
of her on the opposite side of the table ; dressed
in a drab travelling-suit, a bag slung over his
shoulder, and a long-handled umbrella in his
" Good-day to you, Fraulein," he said, quite
composedly, in his meditative bass ! " I was look-
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. II 3
ing for the professor. I hope I see you well,
Ma'm'selle Judica." The child sprang forward to
** How did you come, — so unexpectedly?**
" Well, you know me at any rate, that is some-
thing to be thankful for. — I come from Berlin. I
was tired of Berlin; so I asked "Aunt Ritterif she
had any message for you, and with her love and
this travelling-bag I set out.**
Ottilie stared at him in some astonishment.
" Is he going to ask me again,** thought she,
" whether he is he V
"Pastor Philip will be delighted. . .** she stam-
mered. ** You have come direct. . .**
*' Yes. Like a parcel by post, so to speak.'*
'* And my aunt is quite well ?'*
*'Your aunt is hale and hearty; and will you
honor me, Fraulein Ritter, by giving me your
*' Which hand will you have? — Judica run
and call your uncle ; tell him who is here.'*
Judica ran off through the open window ; there
was, however, no necessity to call Fridolin ; for at
this instant the professor entered by the same door
as Leopold had come in by, with a somewhat sin-
gular following. In single file behind him marched
114 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Pastor Philip and the master of the hotel, — a
merry little Italian, with a yellow face and curly
black hair; all three carried huge bunches of
greenery in their hands, the Italian grinning, while
the two brothers wore an expression of comical
gravity. When Fridolin saw Leopold he seemed
for a moment somewhat startled ; but he instantly
crammed his buflch of boughs into the young
man's hand, and fetched another for himself from
outside the door, where a heap of branches had
been laid. Thus armed he again took the lead of
the solemn procession, bowed with mock gravity to
Fraulein Ottilie, and then retreated into the re-
motest corner of the room. The others followed
his example ; so did Leopold, who awaited the is-
sue with philosophical calm. J udica too had seized
a bough and closed the rear. When the professor
had taken his place in the corner he faced about
and addressed Ottilie :
" Vossignoria '* he began, with a half-question-
ing, half-superior glance at the landlord, "or Ec-
cellenza, you yesterday expressed a regret that in
what you were pleased to call an earthly paradise,
certain winged demons, yclept flies, multiplied
with a rapidity, which to us, who are conversant
with natural history, is, I must own, not in the
least surprising. Do you suppose that we could
FRIDOLIN'S mystical marriage. IIS
endure to think that life was embittered to the one
lady of our household ? No. What then became
our first aim and object ? That their lives should
be embittered rather than yours. Graciously be
pleased to regard with favor the corps of fly-hun-
ters which I have organized, and who will make it
their duty to watch constantly over your peace of
mind and the comfort of your nose, beginning from
this moment." This speech would have ended as
solemnly as it had begun, but that a large fly at
that very instant settled on the orator's handsome
nose, tickling him so intolerably that he lost the
thread of his discourse, and made a dash in the air
with his free hand. " Confoi^nd the brute," were
his final words.
All five at once flourished their boughs at the
unparliamentary intruder. The fly retreated to the
other corner of the room ; the pastor stalked after
it; J udica crowed with delight; the Italian pur-
sued the buzzing foe with a storm of " maladetta ;''
it was a scene of chaos. At last Ottilie, covering
her ears with her hands, fairly ran out of the
room. The fly-hunters, however, followed her
into the other room ; they drew up in close order
and attacked the enemy systematically, waving
their branches in regular volleys, so to speak, and
driving the hostile hosts before them out of
ii6 fridolin's mystical marriage.
window. At last they remained in possession of
the field ; they flung down their boughs in a heap,
and Judica shouted in triumph. The landlord re-
tired, the pastor, who had been seized by a most
unchristian spirit of persecution, followed the last
fly into Ottilie's bedroom ; and Leopold dropped
exhausted on to a sofa, stretching out his long legs.
" A most absurdly unpractical proceeding," he
exclaimed, with some asperity.
'* All important undertakings are apt to appear
unpractical at first," retorted Fridolin, who, no
less out of breath had thrown himself into an arm-
chair. '* Well, and how are you ? It was a capi-
tal idea of yours to take us by surprise."
" Berlin and solitude had bereft me of every,
other, so I acted on this one ; and how are you ?
And where are we ?" he added looking round him.
*'In Philip's room."
'* And what has become of Fraulein Ottilie ?"
Before Fridolin could answer they heard some-one
singing in the garden. Fridolin paused to listen ;
his face beamed ; he pointed without speaking in
the direction of the voice.
'' She fled at our war-cry," said Leopold.
Fridolin looked the young man in the face, but
said nothing. Then after a few minutes silence, he
fridolin's mystical marriage. 117
*' Let us perfectly understand each other, my
son. Do not let us try to circumvent each other.
You have followed us here — if I am not mistaken,
because you wished to see that young lady once
'*Well," replied Leopold after a short pause,
*' granting that it is so. . ."
The professor sat lost in thought, and it was
not till after a much longer silence that he said :
** I might have known it ; it was only to be ex-
" Need I tell you, my dear fellow," he presently
added, " that I take the deepest interest in this af-
*' I had in fact guessed as much," answered
Leopold ; and he twitched his lips as though to
smile away an expression of annoyance. " This
fly-hunt was a form of declaration; — you fancy
yourself in love with Fraulein Ottilie."
'' I fancy myself — why fancy ?"
*' Well, you know ; you are bound to yourself
in that mystical marriage."
Again Fridolin was silent for a while. " My
dear Leopold," he began again, with an embar-
rassed smile, **then you really took that nonsense
ii8 fridolin's mystical marriage.
"What !" exclaimed Leopold aghast, and he
started to his feet. " That nonsense ?*'
" Yes ; — sit down, do not excite yourself.
That rigmarole story which I told you — was a
dream perhaps, a romance, to make you, as a
naturalist, regard the psychological phenomena
which I presented to you seem in some degree
plausible. Or let us say to show you, my son, that
I am still your master. You took my scientijfic
rhodomontade for gospel."
" Fridolin !'* Leopold broke in, standing in the
middle of the room and facing him with a search-
ing gaze : " Were you acting a farce then, or are
you acting one now ?'*
" That I leave it to your acumen to discover,
my dear fellow," replied Fridolin. '' You are quite
capable of judging for yourself"
" Well, at any rate, you believe yourself in
love with Fraulein Ottilie ?"
" That question I have, at any rate, the right
of refusing to answer. However, I think it more
dignified to tell you truly, yes. Not that I believe
that I love her — but that I do love her."
<* Yes — and that she loves you ?" Leopold
paused for an answer.
*' You perhaps, as a young man, think it sheer
folly that I, with forty years on my head, should
fridolin's mystical marriage. 119
hope to win the heart of a young girl ; and yet
I — such as you see me here — I do hope it."
Leopold unconsciously breathed a sigh of re-
lief At any rate he only hoped it. " What I
should like to ask," he said, and he stopped.
^' Ask it."
**You intend to marry her?"
" I see you want to know all about it ; — yes, I
intend to marry her — if she will have me, of
''You will carry her off against all comers?"
" I will try, in the only way that is worthy of
me; with the weapons of head and heart — yes."
Leopold took to walking up and down the room.
He pulled out his handkerchief and wiped his
forehead. The professor watched him, but did
not move. At last the young man stood in front
of him, and a keen, ironical smile curled his lips ;
while his observant gaze was fixed on Fridolin.
" It seems to me that you are at the stage of self-
desertion," said he.
" I remember — do not you — that you spoke
very much to this effect : — A charming woman
enthralls me, I fall in love with her ; at this stage
do I recollect that I have a feminine half? a
womanly half to whom I am married ? No — I
I20 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
have utterly forgotten it. I forget that I ever
" The other evening, in the Thier-Garten, did
I say that ?"
*' Yes, my memory is not a treacherous one as
you know. ' I think I will marry her,* you went
on, * I am over head and ears in love ; I write
verses, I go courting. . . .' that was the substance
of your words."
" Indeed. — And from that you conclude. . ."
*' That the state you described in which you
renounce your mystical marriage, is what you are
suffering under now ; that at this stage you do
not know yourself*' The professor stood up.
" And you, a boy of two and tw^ty, know me
better than I know myself?"
*' At this instant, yes. You wish to marry
Fraulein Ottilie ? But you cannot marry her; it
would be bigamy.**
" It would be bigamy ?'* Fridolin was getting
angry. He lost the philosophical composure he
had hitherto preserved. He shook his Jupiter curl
till it seemed alive. "My dear' child,** said he,
" because I once amused myself with telling an al-
legorical romance, which you, unfortunately, are
too young to understand, is that a reason why I
should not marry ? And because you happen to
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 121
admire the lady, and have followed her from Ber-
lin as far as Lake Garda, would it therefore be
bigamy if I were to marry Fraulein Ottilie ? —
Let me finish, pray — though it is the fashion of
everyone to interrupt me — it is high time, I see
— that I should explain myself clearly and once
for all. If I had not made up my mind before to
marry Fraulein Ottilie, I have now. And I am
determined to be a model husband; to show
young men of the next generation, you fish-
blooded investigators and rationalists, how an
ideaHst of the old school understands a perfect
marriage. But above all, my good friend, I am
determined to prove to you that I* am a free man,
and can and will act as I please. — You my rival !
— You ? Very good — do your worst ! Bring your
superior wisdom and youth against my ignorant
middle age ; let us enter the lists in fair fight for
the hand of Fraulein Ottilie Ritter. But do not
for an instant imagine that I shall retire for any
advice of yours. I loved your sister and danced
at her wedding all the same; I loved Theresa
Fischer, and when my brother married her I was
his best man. But do not fancy, my good friend,
that I shall resign Fraulein Ottilie without a strug-
gle. Defy me — fight me — come on — and win
if you can."
122 FRIDOLIN'S mystical MARRIAGE.
" Fridolin," Leopold began, but FridoHn was
gone. He almost knocked his brother Philip down
as he stood in the door- way, pale and dismayed ;
but without stopping to take any notice of him,
Fridolin rushed into his own room, leaving the
young naturalist to reflect at his leisure on the
phenomenon of mystical marriage.
There was a knock. FridoHn had thrown
himself on the sofa, and was trying to compose
himself after this exciting scene, holding his hands
tight over his beating heart, and planning his ac-
tion in the immediate future, — when he heard that
knock. He kept perfectly quiet — another knock.
At last the visitor walked in unbidden ; it was Pas-
tor Philip. He stooped more, he shuffled more, he
was paler even than usual. He stole as noiselessly
as possible up to the sofa on which Fridolin was
reclining, and seated himself on a chair by his
'' Excuse me for making my way in,'* he said
very deliberately and with ominous solemnity.
**What do you want?'* asked Fridolin, fu-
ming inwardly. " Do you want to go away
" No. it is not that. That is not what I have
come for. Fridolin, can you spare me two
'* Yes,'* said Fridolin in desperate resignation,
124 fridolin's mystical marriage.
" I heard just now, quite unintentionally, a few
words — do not mind my voice/' — it had in fact
begun to tremble — " it is a little weak I think, —
I overheard a few words, which I feel I must speak
to you about. Ottilie Ritter — you were men-
tioning Fraulein Ottilie Ritter — I was on the way
to my room — I was standing at the door — when
unluckily you spoke rather loud — you often do —
and so I heard you."
" What did you hear ?" asked Fridolin sitting
up ; but the pastor gently pushed him back into
''You should not be in such a hurry, my dear
brother," said he, with a melancholy smile. " I
have something to say to you too about Fraulein
Ottilie Ritter ; so far we are on equal terms. It
would be, no doubt, an infidelity to the past — in
short, Fraulein Ottilie — something has come over
me which I never could have dreamed of I have
come to life again. I picked a bunch of flowers
this morning, feeling like a boy ; I joined the fly-
hunt ; — only a fortnight ago, I should have been
as likely to renounce my faith as to have commit-
ted such follies. I am not yet old, you tell me. Yes,
I am still young — fairly young. I quite feel as if I
were young again. And, since as you say, she is
the very best friend and example my Judica could
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 25
have, — and as I have not the art of living alone,
— now, pray stay just where you are, and let me
sit here — I thought this morning, as I picked
those flowers — I really thought, that if only she
would, I would too. — That is what I, for my part,
had to say to you."
Fridolin had not been able to keep still in his
corner ; he was standing by the table, on which
he leaned; his eyes opening wider and wider in
astonishment, and he solemnly shook his head in
" What ! you want her too ;" he exclaimed at
last» " everyone wants her ! — And it was to tell
me that, to my face, that you came here ! — And
when you overheard me mention her name, listen-
ing at the door of your room, did you not under-
stand what my intentions were ?"
" I know, of course," said the pastor, — '' but
do not speak so loud. — You would not give her
up, I heard you say. . ."
** No, I will not give her up, — I will never
give her up ! Never ! Not for all the brothers in
" What are you talking about ? All the brothers
in the world?. . ." interrupted the pastor; and
his voice grew lower and hollower in proportion
as the professor raised his. " I c'ame on purpose
126 FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
to tell you, in all brotherly confidence, the con-
clusion I had come to about an hour ago. . .*'
" Oh ! very good, very good ! Make your own
arrangements ; go on pray, — do all you please —
all you can — hinder me if you can. I make
nothing of obstacles ; they spur me on, they stir
up my energy, they goad me to success ! Put
obstacles in my way, I will leap over them!'*
" What are you storming at ? Obstacles, — to
leap over? ..."
" What ?" Fridolin went on. " Do you put no
obstacles in my way when you say : * I, I love her
too.' Are not you tearing at my very heart when
you tell me that you cannot live alone, that she must
remain with Judica, that she shall become your
wife ? — But I will not resign her !'* he vehemently
declared. " No, say no more. I will shut my ears,
I will neither hear nor understand ; I will not lis-
ten to another word. Talk to me no more about
yourself; not another word about my * mystical
marriage,* — damn the mystical marriage ! I will be
married like other men, I will marry her, I will be
happy, and all the obstacles in the world shall not
prevent me !"
" For God's sake !" Philip exclaimed, " what a
storm ! — Fridolin — he is gone. — Fridolin ! —
^'" *"he man ever seen in such a state of fury ? —
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 12/
I declare I am trembling all over. — * Not for all
the brothers in the world * — am I such an inhuman
brother that he should throw such a taunt, such a
challenge in my teeth ? Have we lived on such
terms that he should defy me as a foe and never
hear — I never got so far as to tell him what my
own idea was on the subject ; I am always too
late. — * A mystical marriage !' — What does he
mean with his mystical marriage ? I do not un-
derstand. . ."
" / put obstacles in your way for you to leap
over? / — in return for all your affection and
kindness ; your self-sacrifice, your brotherly care
and helpfulness? I, who set myself up as a
preacher of Christ's word and doctrine; I, who
know how much better and cleverer, and superior
in every thing you are to a creature like me ? —
No, not I," and he spoke aloud, and, with a
decision most unusual in him, he quitted the
He went to his own room, meeting no one on
his way. He locked both the doors, took a small
portmanteau out of the corner where it stood, and,
sighing deeply from time to time, proceeded to pack
up his linen and books ; pausing now and again to
collect his thoughts and consider as to what he
would need. Much time was wasted in elaborate
128 fridolin's mystical marriage.
calculations and economy of space, a confirmed
habit with him — for each time that he discovered
that a different arrangement would secure him
more room, he unpacked everything with a groan,
and crammed his shirts, guide-books, stockings,
and clerical newspapers tighter than ever. When,
after some hours work, he had at last got it fin-
ished and had locked the portmanteau, he opened
it once more and with the greatest difficulty dis-
interred paper, pens, and ink, which he had buried
at the bottom, and wrote, in his minute stiff hand,
the following letter :
" My dear young lady :
" An unexpected and, in itself quite
unimportant circumstance, requires me to set
out by the next omnibus that starts for Mori.
I leave my little Judica in the charge of my
brother and yourself Whether we shall meet
again in Riva, or not for some time, and when and
where, I would tell you if I could. But I cannot.
Meanwhile accept my warmest thanks for all you
have done for my child, and may yet do in the
future ; and allow me to add that notwithstanding
all I may have said to you as regarding my
brother's hostile feelings towards the church —
though I had a perfect right, nay it was my duty,
fridolin's mystical marriage. 129
to oppose him — he is in every other respect the
noblest and most worthy soul that breathes on
earth. Allow me to say that I, who have spent
many hours of anxious thought over the state of
his soul, — and I should be a wretch devoid of creed
and conscience if I had not — that I wish him, for
his earthly portion, every blessing, every comfort,
every joy that his generous and loving heart can
desire. Tell him, from me, my dear lady, that the
difference in our views on religious or political
subjects, or on any other, be it what it may^ can
never prevent my sacrificing my own desires and
interests to his ; and that I enjoy the happy con-
viction that the love he hopes to win will certainly
" I will ere long let you know how and where
I am ; I have every necessary with me in my small
portmanteau. One of my hats — the one which
contained the flowers that I intended solely as a
peace offering or apology for my clumsiness at our
first meeting — is in your room ; I do not need it,
I have the other to travel in. This being Saturday
the landlord will send the weekly bill ; would you
be so good as to hand it over to my brother to
pay. And now farewell, — and may God send you
and my brother every good gift.
"With the deepest respect
I30 fridolin's mystical marriage.
" I remain your faithful friend,
'*The father of the child
"You have made happy."
Pastor Philip's letter was finished just about
the time when Fraulein Ottilie was putting the
last touches to the toilet in which she purposed
appearing at their family dinner. This toilet was
intended — for lack of verses, which she could not
write — as in some sort an answer to Fridolin's
poem; her coiffure, her bow, her neck-tie, her
gown, all selected and combined in accordance
with the professor's taste as he had occasionally
expressed it, might in its way be equivalent to an
acrostic ; each article representing a letter and the
whole standing for ** Fridolin." At the same time
a kind of bashfulness had come over her that was
not natural to her ; she stood in front of her glass
and could not help feeling conscious of it; but
she resolutely put it aside, with the spirit that is
born of any strong feeling. Might it not be a de-
lusion after all — this idea that she was in love
with the professor ? But, if so, why had she here
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 131
in her hand, the tell-tale sheet of paper ? Why
had she secretly abstracted it, and brought it away
to her own room, and locked herself in ? And
why did she now, dressed as she was like a posy,
her cheeks tingling with blushes, seat herself in
front of her desk, and, taking out a pencil-case
which the professor had given her only the evening
before, lay the verses on the table and gaze at the
last line with a sigh that came from the bottom of
" I cannot leave it incomplete," said she to
herself. " I will keep these lines. Why did he
leave them out on his table if it was not that I
might find them? — And if I keep them, I may
just as well fill in the gap ; the two last words.
• If from thy lips I could but hear
Echo's response : — '
Well ; echo's response ? . . ." She thought no
longer. She took up the pencil and wrote. She
found some difficulty in writing small enough;
but she got as far as "I lo. . ."
** No !*' she cried, starting up, and throwing
down the pencil. " How can I do such a thing ?
What am I about ? Good Heavens ! what has
come over me that I am capable of such folly ?
I — I who am by way of teaching others!"
A knock at the door interrupted her reflec-
132 FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
tions, and she was glad of it. She slipped the
poem into a book that was lying on the table, laid
some others on the top of it, so that it was at the
bottom, and went to unlock the door. She ex-
pected to see Judica, but to her astonishment it
was Leopold who stood before her. — He had laid
aside his travelling- wallet, stick, and umbrella, and
greeted her with an almost too ceremonious bow.
" May I be permitted to intrude on your pri-
vacy for an instant?" said he. ** Have you a
minute to spare ?"
** An instant ! — a minute ! — this is somewhat
illogical for a man," thought she.
** Oh ! yes," she said laughing, '* my time is
very much at your service."
" I see you are laughing already," said Leo-
pold with evident embarrassment. " That is of
bad augury for me. I am fully aware of the ab-
surd position in which I find myself. I am awk-
ward, bewildered ; clumsy in consequence. Well,
I would rather tell you so myself, than feel that
you were thinking it behind my back. When I
say it myself it seems less ridiculous, less prepos-
terous, — so I say it myself!"
" An excellent maxim and eminently practical,"
replied the young lady, gaily. She looked at him,
however, with some curiosity and interest.
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 33
" It is only natural — my awkwardness, I
mean," he continued. '* In the first instance, at
Berlin, I behaved to you in a perfectly idiotic
manner ; that is on my conscience, it weighs on
my mind. In the second place, I am, I believe,
on the point of committing another stupid blun-
der; and that is not an encouraging reflection.
But I would sooner see you laugh than listening
in such terrible earnest to what I have to say."
" You see — that first evening in Berlin, I boldly
asserted : You are she. — And I asked you whether
I were he, or not. Now, should I appear one whit
less ridiculous, at this moment, if I were to ask
you whether you ever could be- she — whether I
ever could be he."
*' Woe is me, she is reddening — she is angry !"
thought he. " I have plunged into the matter too
abruptly ; I am an utter ass !"
''Really, mein Herr. . ." she began, but he
'* Dear lady, have one moment's patience, I
implore you ; just one minute. It has been a
dream — no, a revelation, — a superstition rather ;
— I want a word, and I cannot find it ; if I could
write verses I might be able to express my feelings;
and I did try. I tried to make a poem about it :
134 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
* Silent enigma, spirit of my dreams. . .* it began ;
— but it did not do. I cannot make anything of
it ; I am not a born poet ; I am only a naturalist ;
the dry bones of a man ; homo formica, Linnaeus.
The only poem I ever composed in my life con-
sisted of six lines and three rhymes ; and even
those were not all my own ; I was helped by my
stalwart friend Rudolf"
" You no doubt know them by heart," said
Ottilie, much amused, ** if so, pray declaim them
for my benefit."
** Their only merit is their archaic simplicity,
and their absolute truth."
" But I delight in simplicity and truth ; pray
let me hear them." Leopold waited for no fur-
ther pressing, he repeated the verses — the same
verses that Rudolf had sung to the worshipful
company of the body-guards, that eventful even-
ing at Berlin :
" Drink my Boys, drink,
While good liquor is red ;
Chink the cash, chink.
Till you've paid for the spread,
Long live good living
Until a man's dead."
"A not very touching, but highly edifying
song," said Ottilie laughing. Leopold bowed.
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 35
" Three times since have I tried to soar to sim-
ilar heights," he said, "but nature has exhausted
herself, it would seem ; I have brought no second
lion-cub into'the world."
'* Then you must write those lines in my al-
bum ; — will you ? Like most young ladies, —
whether countesses, parsons* daughters, or school-
girls, I have an album for lyric and didactic ef-
fusions. Will you be so good. . ."
" I shall esteem it an honor. . ."
** Here is the album, here are pen and ink."
And she turned over the books on her table and
drew out one bound in black and highly gilt,
which she laid before him.
" My vanity forbids me to demur, for you
might repent if I delayed," said Leopold with a
sort of sentimental humor. " So I will proceed
at once." — He opened the album at a blank page
— it was by no means full — and began at the first
" Drink my boys, drink. ..."
"Stay," he exclaimed and he paused.
" Well, why do you not go on ?"
"Wait; I am polishing it," he replied mus-
ingly. " Perhaps," thought he to himself, " I can
bring something in that may lead up to what I am
136 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
aiming at. Some word or hint — yes, it is com-
ing, it is coming. — Why should we always drink
red wine ?"
He went on and wrote the first two lines boldly
to the end.
" Are you still polishing ?" asked Ottilie,
" No," said he, and he wrote without any fur-
ther pause to the last word; then he silently handed
her the book, with an embarrassed and very
*' Now let us see whether you have brought it
to absolute perfection ?" said she, and she read :
•• Drink my boys, drink,
While 'tis sparkling and white.
Give heart for heart
If you're sure they beat right.
Live like a man
Till old age is in sight."
" What is the meaning of this ?*' asked Ot-
tilie blushing deeply. " This is another poem al-
together. What made you write these lines
Leopold felt the color mounting to his own
face, and all his courage oozing out.
" Forgive me," he stammered.
"What do you mean by polishing in this
fridolin's mystical marriage. 137
" Now is your time/* thought Leopold, ** now
is your time."
He plucked up his courage and murmured :
*' What do I mean ? — A .... a question — but for-
give me/' he added, seeing her lip quiver. *' The
words came to my tongue, — to my pen — do not
be angry — my old superstition, — for really and
truly I do believe that you are she — and a man
is in such a desperate position when he does not
know whether he is — or is not. . .'*
The young lady did not seem to hear the last
words ; a siiigular and mysterious expression
crossed her face. Her lips were parted as if to
speak, but her eyes were fixed on the table. When
Leopold had handed her the album a loose sheet
of paper had fluttered out of it, and was now lying
upon the other books; a blank sheet, so far as
could be seen from the side that lay uppermost.
She stood lost in thought for a few minutes ; then,
seating herself, she took up her pencil and began
to write on this blank page.
'* What . . ?'* he began ; but the sound of his
own voice startled him and he broke off. She
murmured something that he did not catch. Her
pencil travelled swiftly over the paper ; stopped
for a moment like a wheel with the break on ;
and then went on again. Short lines appeared
138 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
under her nimble fingers. When they were done,
she made a wide flourish all across the bottom of
the page, and rose and stood away from the
" Am I to read it ?'* he asked much puzzled.
She nodded, without meeting his eye. He went
close behind the chair, over which he leaned to
" She too has been ' polishing,* " thought he.
Almost holding his breath with excitement, he
read as follows :
• • Drink my boys, drink, *
Be it ruby or white,
But only so long
As it runs pure and bright.
Ask not a heart
That is giv'n to another.
Men only live
While they live for each other."
He read it once, twice, a third time ; but the
last time only with his eyes, without understand-
ing it. He felt completely crushed.
** I might have known it," thought he. "Those^
who will ask questions must be prepared for the
answers. . ."
A mist seemed to rise before his eyes, through
which he still seemed to see the words : " Ask
not a heart that is giv'n to another;" he felt over-
fridolin's mystical marriage. 139
whelmed by humiliation, and still more by grief.
A sort of panic came over him ; a dread of seeing
Ottilie's face — of hearing even the rustle of her
dress, of being in her presence, — he stood listen-
ing, not daring to move. But there was not a
sound; the room was as still as the grave.
Nothing was to be heard but the buzzing of the
flies on the window ; and the fly-hunt, his conver-
sation with Fridolin, his last wretched half-hour,
— all rose before his mind in one confused jum-
ble — he started, and involuntarily looked round
as though Ottilie herself had touched him, •. — but
there was no one in the room ; — she had silently
'* What is to be done next ?*' he asked himself.
He took up the fateful sheet of paper and turned
it over, round and round, like an arrow in his
" The other side was written on already," he
said aloud in his misery, "and with poetry too."
And he mechanically glanced at the verses on the
reverse side. His eyes opened wider and wider ;
he recognized Fridolin's minute writing, noticed
the initial letters — Ottilie had underlined them
all with her pencil - — and saw that at the end echo
had in fact begun her reply.
" I lo. . ." was written in Ottilie's hand. He
I40 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
was sure it was hers ; he had seen it only that
morning in Judica*s lesson books.
"FridoHn and Ottilie!*' he exclaimed. "Good
Heavens ! I see it all now."
*' What, you here ?'* it was the professor's
voice. Fridolin, in his smartest velvet waistcoat,
his cravat tied in a full-blown and elaborate knot
of his own invention, known to the body-guard
as the gordian knot, his hair and beard carefully
combed and curled, was standing in the door- way
He had come in search of his young friend, to
prove that this struggle for " her " had in no way
affected his regard for him.
" You, in here ?" he repeated, but without be-
traying the smallest jealousy in tone or accent.
'* You know, I suppose, my dear fellow, that din-
ner will be ready in less than a quarter of an
*' Your dinner will be ready ; yes, I know that/'
answered Leopold. " As for me — but never
mind — everything is at an end. — Read these
verses. From you — to her, lying here — in her
album. And her answer is written below ; read
it. Do you want a plainer one ?"
Fridolin had seen, had understood ; and he
dropped the sheet of paper in sheer astonishment ;
but he caught it again as it fluttered away.
fridolin's mystical marriage. 141
*' Ottilie !" he cried. Leopold marked the sur-
prise on his face, his sudden joy ; and watched
him closely without saying a word.
" My dearest fellow," said the professor in the
softest voice he could command, *' I am utterly
dumbfounded ; this is the most startling denoue-
" It is a revelation, at any rate, which makes
any further enquiries quite unnecessary," replied
Leopold with forced composure. " Well, she was
not she. And she looked as if she were. I will
analyze more closely for the future."
" She was not what ?" asked Fridolin, staring
" Not such a simpleton as L — We need waste
no words, Fridolin, in speech-making or congratu-
lations or condolences. Every man must take life
as it is dealt to him. I am going away — back to
science. * A contribution to psychical knowledge:
on youthful mysticism and the superstitions of
love !' Good-bye, Fridolin ; till we meet again —
somewhere or other."
" Somewhere or other ? — Where do you
mean ? Where are you going to ?"
** Away," said Leopold, and he was gone.
In the dining-room, which opened on to the
garden, Ottilie was impatiently walking up and
down. The table had been laid God knows how
long ; the soup had been brought in and taken
out again; and of the three gentlemen of the
party not a sign. Once more, for the twentieth
time perhaps, did she go to the glass door to look
out into the garden, with a hope that she might
discern the approach of one of the truants. She
leaned her cheek against the pane ; she drummed
with all her ten fingers on the frame ; all in vain.
At length, for the twentieth time, she turned back
into the room, and walked — like the puppets of
a marionette theatre, which are incessantly mov-
ing backwards or forwards — to the other end of
the long hall. Little Judica came running in.
" Well," asked Ottilie, " have you found your
papa or your uncle anywhere ?'*
"Papa? — No."
** And your uncle ?"
" Aunt Ottilie, is it a very naughty thing to
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 143
** What makes you ask that ?• Have you seen
your uncle ?'*
Judica, doubtful as to what she should answer,
only shook her head.
*' I have not seen him — but I heard him.'*
'* Where r
** In his room. Do you know what he can be
doing there ? He was walking up and down —
just as you are doing here. I say, Aunt Ottilie,
if some one stands at a door and hears some one
in the other room talking to himself, quite loud,
and if some one listens to what he is saying — is
it very wrong?'*
*' What did you hear ?'* asked Ottilie uneasily,
without answering the question of conscience.
" At first he kept on saying : 'Ottilie, Ottilie !*
and I thought, Aunt Ottilie, that you were up
there with him. And then — I say, why, when
he always used to call you Fraulein, does he call
you Ottilie now ?*'
" I do not know ; you are a silly little thing
and cannot have heard distinctly — that will do ;
now run away."
*' Oh, that was only the beginning. — I say
Aunt Ottilie, has every one got a mystical car-
riage, and what is a mystical carriage ? Uncle
Fridolin has one; he said so three times.*'
144 FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
" What nonsense you are talking ; I do not
know what you mean/' interrupted Ottilie.
" No more do I/' said Judica innocently.
'* And I cannot think why he pitied you so much.
Are you very unhappy, Aunt Ottilie? ' Poor thing,
poor Ottilie!* he said, over and over again, and he
seemed very miserable too, himself — but there
was some one else he was sorry for, * Eva des
Herzens ' he called her, or something like that ;
and then. . ." and the child crept close to Ottilie
and whispered in her ear, like a chicken piping
under its mother's wing : " And then I think he
began to cry."
Ottilie stood puzzled and distressed. What
could have been happening?
" And then. Aunt Ottilie, some one came into
the room who asked him to do something, or to
give him something."
" What ?" asked Ottilie involuntarily.
" I do not know, but Uncle Fridolin would not
do it. 'I cannot, I ought not, my fate. . .' and
then he exclaimed : ' I make you miserable ?* —
and then he kept saying : ' Oh ! my God !' Then
I suppose the other man went away, for it was all
perfectly quiet. At last I tried to open the door
but I could not, for it was locked. Uncle Fridolin
roared fearfully loud : * Who is there ?' And I
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. I45
was just going to run away with fright, for I
thought he had found out that I had been listen-
ing. Do you think, Aunt Ottilie, that he could
have known it ?"
" There, you see what it is to have a bad con-
science," said Ottilie, but with an effort. " Well,
and what did you do ?"
'* Well, I stayed where I was, because you
told me that I ought never to run away from peo-
ple who will not hurt me. So I called out: Uncle
Fridolin, why do you not come down to dinner ?
' Run away,' he said, ' I will come presently. Only
leave me alone.' So I came away and ran down-
*' Then he is really coming," Ottilie murmured
to herself *' Then he is coming," she said aloud,
*' presently; soon." And she tried to control the
beating of her heart. She took out her hand-
kerchief which was wet with eau de Cologne,
and held it to her throbbing temples and fore-
'' I cannot understand," she said to herself,
*' I know nothing of what it all means. It is not
the first time in my life, however; I must wait and
Again she went to the glass door. Little
Judica followed her. '' Aunt Ottilie," said the
14^ fridolin's mystical marriage.
child, pulling at her dress, " here is Carlo with a
letter — a note. . ."
Carlo, the landlord's son, was standing just
behind Judica, with a letter in his hand.
*' Give it me," said Ottilie, taking it from
him. It was addressed to her — but from whom ?
She dismissed the lad and opened it. It was signed
"Leopold Rheinau," and the letters looked huge
in her eyes, perhaps because she had expected to
see an excessively minute calligraphy. She laughed
at her own eagerness and read :
" My very dear madam, why should I write to
you ? I do not know. It would be far more dig-
nified in me to hold my peace. In short, I do not
know why I write. But I cannot resist an impulse
to tell you that I know everything, that I under-
stand it all. Perhaps nature, who is so apt to have
her little secrets from us short-sighted mortals,
has reserved you to be the true 'better half* to
a man who never seemed disposed or fitted for
marriage. I — believe me — am not a particularly
good man ; and, at this moment, in the worst of
humors ; but I wish you every happiness, and
every blessing ; yes, all you can desire. And I
feel I am not so bad as, in my present sceptical
and critical mood, I am inclined to think myself
Every blessing and every happiness. — And for-
FRIDOLIN^S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 47
give me for ever having thought — what was not
" When you read this I shall be gone ; by the
steamboat to Peschiera, — and on from thence I
know not where. Remember me to the rest of
your party. Tell them — what ? Anything. That
I was suddenly obliged to return home ; yes, tell
them that if you please. I shall forever respect
and honor you — as long as I live, that is to say —
as long as I breathe. I am always yours to com-
mand till" I quit this life. I shall write the most
desperately learned books and — adieu."
** A strange letter," thought Ottilie. " It touches
me singularly. — ^Why, child, what are you pulling
at me for ?'* she asked" Judica, who was tugging
with all her strength at her skirts.
"It is Paolo," replied tht child, "He has a let-
Paolo, the waiter, came in with all the com-
bined dignity of his office and his nationality.
" Here is the weekly bill," he said, in his sibi-
lant Milanese accent ; " Signor Filippo asked for it.
And here is a letter."
" Give them to me," said Ottilie and the man
departed. She opened the letter; and glanced
first at the signature. She read : " The father of
the child you have made happy."
148 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
" Judica's father, — writing to me ? — What
about ?" She turned it over and looked at the first
words : *' My dear young lady :
" An unexpected and, in itself quite unim-
portant circumstance, requires me to set out by
the next omnibus that starts for Mori. . ,'*
" To leave. He too ? * By the next omnibus
to Mori.* Why, he must have been gone an
hour," thought she. " Yes quite an hour."
She read on ; on to the deeply respectful con-
clusion. The hot color mounted to her cheeks
more than once ; but at the end she laughed, re-
folded the pastor's letter in the same clumsy shape
as he had folded it in, and took up the bill. This
too she read, word for word,, figure for figure, from
beginning to end ; and then she discovered that
neither words nor figures had left the smallest im-
pression on her brain. '* I cannot give my mind
to it," said she to herself " Good Heavens ! what
a day of confusion."
She started — she heard steps — only steps —
why should that put her on the alert ? Whose
steps ? — she would not look round ; she stood
fixed and rigidly attentive by the glass door. Then
again she felt Judica pulling at her dress — as if it
were an electric communicator.
" Well, what is it ?" she asked.
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 49
" Look, Aunt Ottilie, it is the master, the land-
lord of the hotel."
" And has he a letter too ?" said Ottilie turn-
ing round. Suddenly she grew very pale ; the little
Italian, who was standing before her with a singu-
larly grave expression, and the air of a man who
has called to claim an over-due tax, had in fact a
letter in his skinny yellow hand.
" I have come about the bill," he began, with
a look of defiant suspicion.
" Are you in such a hurry ?" asked she some-
what surprised. " Will you be so good as to take
it to the professor, as soon as he comes down."
''You are very kind, madam," answered the
man with an insulting smile. " Signor Filippo de-
sired me to deliver the bill to you ; you refer me
to the Signor Professore; the Signor Professore
sends me back to the Signor Filippo. And out of
this pleasing circle there seems to be no issue —
meanwhile where is my money?"
'* Sir," said Ottilie, crimson with vexation, " I
really fail to understand you. What do you mean
by adopting this tone with me ? — I will go and
beg the professor to come this minute."
*' You will go and fetch him, madam ? — Not
if I know it. I have kept this hotel these ten
years, and I am up to all these little tricks. Yes,
ISO FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
madam, to all your tricks. Do not trouble your-
self, pray. I can see through it all. Dio miof
how I have been taken in by these gentlemen ! —
However, I still have you safe, and I ask you :
Where is your money ?"
** My good man, you are out of your mind,''
Ottilie broke out. "As soon as the professor comes
'* And you really believe that he is coming ?"
interrupted the landlord. '*I do not, for an instant.
He has taken himself off, and is far enough away
by this time. And I had not a suspicion — I never
dreamed of such a thing ! I did not know that
Signor Filippo had already made himself scarce ;
and so, like a fool, I let him go. The money for
the bill is not in this letter, madam — I am afraid
"What letter ? Give it me. . ." She took
it from him and tore it open without pausing to
look at the address. The tiny, close writing seemed
to dazzle her sight ; the letters hopped about be-
fore her eyes like rows of fleas. At last, after
rubbing her eyes, to clear her brain as much as
her sight, she managed to read :
" My dear Philip,—" " then it is not for me
after all," thought she ; but under the pressure of
the situation, and her immediate alarm, she invol-
fridolin's mystical marriage. 151
untarily went on : ** In that unlucky moment,
when I defied you, in fact proclaimed war against
you, in such an unbrotherly way, letting my sel-
fish passions assert themselves so vehemently and
have the last word, it was not I that spoke — not
I, but it ; that villanous it which is not our real
self, and yet so often and so fatally asserts its
supremacy. You may give it what name you will
— I call it it. But now I am myself once more.
I am a man again, who can face his destiny ; who
can bend his back — accustomed now to its bur-
den — and bear in silence all that fate may pile
upon it. I know, I have long known, that I am
not one of those who are born to be happy. I
know that it is my duty to provide for your hap-
piness ; that is my first duty and I have no right
to wish it otherwise. I know this. I submit. I
give her up, — I was born to give up ! What,
indeed, is the obvious thing ? — To make you
happy. Very good, be happy ! I swore to our
mother that I would make that my care and I will
" Do not worry yourself as to what will be-
come of me meanwhile. I can tighten up the
strings of my heart, so that it shall not bleed to
death, and I will dwell in solitude for a time ; in
my mystical marriage.
152 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
" Forget ! — Forget Ottilie ? —Well, I will try
to act as the doctor advised when he bid me give
up smoking: ' Give up cigars,' said he; 'do not
smoke them any more/ I said to myself: ' Look
here, it is quite preposterous that you should fancy
that you need to smoke twice a day.* I admitted
the truth of this remark, and only smoked in the
evening. At first I smoked all my four cigars,
one after another ; this went on for a few days,
then I said to myself: * Three cigars are as many
as any gentleman should smoke at a time.* And
I agreed. Then — two. Then only one. Then
I went to my doctor and I said to him : * Must I
sacrifice this one ? Does medical science require
it? — Good, then I will' — No he allowed me
that one. I still smoke one.
'* I will try the same process in this case. —
Perhaps I may, even to the last, be allowed to in-
dulge in a sigh, a remembrance. — Philip, be happy
— that is all I ask. I am flying to leave you to
your happiness. I am off in a chaise as far as
Arco, and from thence to Trent. After that —
who knows ? I cannot even think of that. — Keep
due account of my share of the expenses ; I ask
no mistaken forbearance. Now, I can write no
more ; I can think no more. Tell Ottilie — no,
tell her nothing — that I am gone because I give
fridolin's mystical marriage. 153
up — because I am
"Your most unhappy,
"Well, and my money?*' asked the hotel-
keeper, when she had read it and had been stand-
ing for some minutes without speaking a word.
" Will you oblige me by paying me, madam ?"
At this enquiry Ottilie roused herself, and
stared him blankly in the face. The state of af-
fairs suddenly struck her with dismay: That she
had no money — that Fridolin had given her up
to his brother — and that she and Judica were
there alone in a foreign country, with an unpaid
hotel bill. The tragi- comedy of the situation was
too much for her ; she dropped on to a chair. She
still had senses enough to feel what a serious
farce it might be for her ; and she began to cry.
I MUST now ask the intelligent reader to
return with me to Berlin, to the house where I
formerly conducted him, across the court-yard^
and up to the third floor. If he will come into
the aesthetic study — where, unless he is a very
stout man he may still be able to turn round — if
he places himself opposite the Apollo Belvedere,
he will see, at Apollo's feet, a snug bedstead, in
which, covered with a due amount of blankets, lies
the slumbering Fridolin. It is early morning ; his
dreams do not seem to be pleasant, for the lines
between his brows are deep, and he sighs ; such a
sigh must surely wake him ! No, not completely.
He opens his eyes, but their speculation is vague.
His sense of smell — the most alert of all our
senses — is the first to wake; his handsome nose,
is — as he himself puts it — the early bird of his
consciousness, which is the first to scent the day.
His nostrils slightly dilate; they are aware of a
bunch of violets which are standing two yards off
on a shelf — an etagerCy as it is thought genteel to
call such a piece of furniture. The enjoyment of
fridolin's mystical marriage. 1 55
their fragrance impels him to open his eyes, and^
following the guidance of the nose, they gaze at
the deep purple blossoms from which the perfume
emanates ; they dwell upon it lovingly ; the pale
blue of their iris seems to borrow a warmer hue from
the flowers. The lines between his brows grow
smoother; and something like a smile hovers
round his bearded lips. But alas ! only for a mo-
ment. The professor sits up in bed ; he throws off
his Turkish counterpane, glances wearily round this
crowded desert, this aesthetic solitude, and deep
melancholy gradually clouds his features. . . . Once
more the early bird seems to be on the alert — it
quivers — it twitches — is it about to begin its
morning song ? No, — the professor sneezes. Then
he throws himself back into bed again, pulls the
blankets well over his shoulders and looks out on
the world with an unfavorable, almost a reproach-
** Why did I sneeze ?'* thinks he. " Because I
am catching cold. Why do I catch cold ? Because
I have given up being rubbed and cold-water-
cured. Why should I not be rubbed ?" he pulls
a bell- rope which dangled at his right hand.
Well, will any one come when he rings, or not?
Is he to be persistently neglected ? — No, some
one is coming. Frau Therese Ritter — just as
156 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
clean, just as good tempered and just as phlegma-
tic as ever, Dame Ritter comes in.
" You rang ?" says she, in her soft apathetic
tones and she looks calmly at him from under her
white cap frills.
'* Yes, I did venture to take that liberty," he '
replies. " Will you first be so good as to tell me
what the news is this morning by our good friend
" Twelve degrees outside, Herr Professor, and
fourteen inside," and she glanced at a thermome-
ter which hung near the door. " Fourteen ex-
** Our boreal April is fast turning to May. —
What on earth should make me sneeze in a room
with the thermometer at fourteen ? This is not
natural, it is a protest against the debilitating in-
fluence of culture. I have been back only two
days from the land where the sun really shines,
and I sneeze at six in the morning. — I should like
to see Doctor Strehlau ; — my dear woman, why
do you keep Doctor Strehlau in the kitchen among
your hot water cans, instead of sending him in
here to me ? Why do you keep me waiting for
"I keep you waiting, Herr Professor? — But
he is not come yet."
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 157
" Not come yet ! Every one neglects me. —
Well, as soon as the wretch comes send him in.'^
" Is it him that rubs you ?" she asked.
" No, my dear woman, it cannot be him, since
nature and grammar require that he should rub in
the nominative. It is he that rubs me. Who rubs?
He rubs. Aunt Ritter, have the goodness to say
it is he''
" He,'* she said with the sweetest smile. " But
how is he to do it ? Only look round, Herr Pro-
fessor, where is he to rub you ? There is no room
" If there is not room enough here I can go
into my brother's bedroom ; that is large enough.'^
" And the Herr Pastor. . .'* asked Aunt Ritter,
with an air of perfect innocence, and quite un-
moved, "is he never coming back again ?"
"Aunt Ritter," replied Fridolin: "Your
curiosity looks out of your eyes, as if you would
like to see me through a microscope that might
enable you to read my thoughts. But I assure you
that I cannot tell you when the pastor will come
back — because I do not know."
" And my niece. . . ?"
" The same holds good with regard to your
niece," he added, with a sigh that he suppressed
IS8 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
" Well, perhaps that is no further concern of
mine," she said very resignedly. *' But if only I
might know, — ^but I will not ask you again — why
you returned so unexpectedly — and alone?"
" Now, will you allow me to make one remark,
in connection with that subject ?"
** If you please," said she.
*' Then I will take this opportunity of saying,
that though you are the best of housekeepers, you
are an inquisitive old goose ; and that I shall give
you notice to quit, on the spot, if you allude once
more — mark me, once more — to this subject.
And now, with your permission, I will proceed to
Frau Ritter acted on this hint to retire, with-
out any argument, and, considering the professor's
last threat, with commendable philosophy. She
glided silently away in her felt slippers, and it was
not till she reached the door that it occurred to her
that it would beseem her dignity to have the last
"Certainly, T am going. . ." she retorted.
** Doctor Strehlau is come," she shouted from the
adjoining room when she had disappeared.
The door opened once more, and the man
whom Fridolin called Doctor Strehlau, marched
in with a heavy tramp, partly due to his thick
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 159
milftary boots. He was a stalwart Pomeranian
trooper and the latest recruit to the lowest grade of
the body-guard ; the rank and file as Leopold
called them. In the early morning, before his
regular military duties required his attendance, he
did for the professor what all his predecessors in
office had done at the same hour. It was his sole
and exclusive privilege to clean Fridolin's boots ;
it was his honorable task to shake and brush the
dust off all his coats and trousers ; on occasion he
was told off to special service — to the service, that
is to say, of Frau Ritter; finally, he had lately
been promoted to the rank of " hydropathic prac-
titioner," and his rough hands learnt to wrap
Fridolin's limbs in wet sheets, and to knead and rub
them till the patfent called out that he could bear
it no longer. This function had procured him the
nickname of "Doctor Strehlau." He was a con-
scientious mortal, whatever he took in hand. He
made his appearance regularly after dinner to
drink up all the heel-taps ; his incessant vigilance
' made it impossible that anything should " disap-
pear" in Fridolin's house; and he was always
singularly reluctant to quit the room till Fridolin's
kind hand had offered him the usual cigar after the
rubbing process was over.
" Good-morning, Herr Professor," said he, as
l6o FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
he came in with a beaming smile on his broad
"Look here, my friend," answered Fridolin :
" Do you see this sock on my right foot ? Is this
what you call being punctual ? This sock on my
right foot shows you that you are late — too late,
" Yes, indeed, so it is, and I am very sorry,"
replied the dragoon, very frankly. " I sat tippling
rather late last night, Herr Professor."
** Sat tippling too late! What do you mean
by telling me such a thing as that ? Are you an
old booby fit to be made a field marshal, or a gal-
lant young soldier of two and twenty ? When I
had no more years on my shoulders than you have
on yours. Doctor Strehlau, I conld drink all night
till four in the morning if need were, and be awake
again at five. Now, will you have the goodness
to rub me to-day, or will you not ?"
" Shall I begin at once ? Are you going
through another course of it ?"
"Yes ; I sneezed just now without any obvious'
reason, so we will try it again. In the brown bed-
room. Wait for me with your detestable wet
sheets, and my clothes, in the brown bedroom. Do
you go first in your military coat, and I will fol-
low in my civilian's night-shirt."
fridolin's mystical marriage. i6i
** Very good, as you please," said Doctor
Strehlau, and he led the way.
FridoHn was left alone. " Merciful Heavens!*'
sighed he, as he drew off his sock again.
'' Ottilie ! — Ottilie !— but I am forbidden to think
of her more than once a day. — Forbidden ! —
Why ? Because my better, nobler self will have it
so. Because the categorical imperative in me de-
clares : It shall not be. — Ne unquam immemor
sis te philosophum esse. She will forget you, just
as many another has done ; she will be happy with
another man ; — forget her too ; at any rate do all
you can to do so. Now, go and be rubbed. . .'*
He was standing all this time without his shirt,
and, feeling that he was about to sneeze once
more, he wrapped himself in his Turkish counter-
pane, and hurried after his attendant.
*' Take note, if you please. Doctor Strehlau,*'
he observed, when the wet sheet was wound
round him, — the dragoon's two red fists had be-
gun to pound his back bone, — '* take particular
note that I did not utter a sound when that
atrocious cold wet cloth first touched me."
** That is not a common thing certainly," said
" Rub harder ; — I have only to tell myself
that I do not feel it, and then I do not feel it.
162 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Rub lower down too ; no portion of the human
frame should be neglected ; each one has its func-
tions and its rights. Have you done your task, my
son, and learnt your geography lesson ? Why do
you not answer me, Doctor Strehlau ?"
*' Well, I have learnt some of it ; if you would
not mind hearing me as much as I know. . ."
" Tell me the names of the principal French —
drat the villain he rubs like a maniac. — Never
mind me ; go on, go on — of the principal fortified'
towns in France, which was what I set you to
learn I think."
"Well, first there is Paris. . .*' a long pause.
" You take a long time to think over Paris ; go on,
what next ?"
"Not Lilie, but Lille.— Lilie ! ah! that re-
minds me of Ottilie ! Come, come, — this is a
breach of discipline. — Oh ! Philip — oh ! Leo-
pold — do not rub too hard.**
"Well, yes there is Lille.**
" Go on, go on, my son.**
" Lyons ; Lyons is good. — But you go to
sleep for as long between as though you had taken
the towns. Get on, get on, Doctor, get on.**
" Well. . .**
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 63
There is no French town called * well/ Come
get on; think a little faster."
" Bordeaux ? — Is that a fortified town ?"
'* My excellent friend — now on this shoulder
— a little higher ; — that is a bad shot. • I under-
took to improve your education ; a German soldier
ought to be a man of education; better edu-
cated than the soldiers of any other nation. Listen
to what I am saying to you, but do not therefore
stop rubbing, Doctor Strehlau. Your predecessors
worked harder than you do. Why, even my lit-
tle idle niece is more studious than you are ; — oh !
Judica — oh ! Ottilie — you should drink less beer
my son, and consume more intellectual nourish-
" I will indeed Herr Professor. You will see
how clever I will be. Well, little Judica, — she
has it in her by nature, you see. I take more to
her than to her father, Herr Professor — if I may
be allowed to have my say."
*' There is not the slightest occasion, that I
can see that you should have your say ; no one
asked your opinion. Stick to your fortified towns,
my boy; and conquer them all by to-morrow
morning. Do you hear ? — He is rubbing all the
skin off my body ; I can bear this no longer. —
Yes, but I will ; I will hold out a while yet."
1 64 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
"Every one of them by to-morrow; I give
you my word."
" Take note, if you please, Doctor Strehlau,
that thus, while we care for and maftreat the body,
we at the same time exercise the mind, as though
this violent treatment were no concern of the
mind's — as though it were unconscious of it
Observe that, for that is the stamp of a superior
man; the mind being his nobler part — stop,
stop. — Are you going mad ? Leave off I say."
" Well, it does hurt, Herr Professor. . ."
*' Dry me thoroughly — gently — now my
shirt. What saint or martyr do you take me for,
that you flay me alive ? My drawers — I hate you.
You are the object of my utmost. . ." But he
checked himself, and muttered under his breath —
" Te philosophum esse, Te philosophum esse. —
Now my socks; the clean pair, number eleven.
That will do ; now you may go. Doctor Strehlau,
you have fulfilled your duties — here is your cigar.
Smoke it with discretion, my son, — ^and the French
fortified towns," he called after him.
" Oh ! yes, all right," said the Doctor with a
smile of perfect confidence, as he left the room.
Fridolin finished dressing. He sighed. He
combed his lordly forelock; but he would not
scent it ; — he never could bear to indulge in such
FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 16$
little graces when he was not in spirits; he
neglected himself. When he had combed his hair,
he drew the hairs out of the comb one by one and
laid them on a sheet of paper. Then he counted
them. He gazed at them with profound pathos ;
*' forty- three. — Three and forty. — I shall soon
be bald at this rate. I am at that stage already —
already bald, in heart. Nature is impressing this
idea on me; — slowly, but surely. To-day — on
my birthday — she leads me up to the discovery
that I lose forty-three of my hairs in one morn-
ing. My birthday. Who remembers it ? No one.
I scarcely remembered it myself Did Aunt Ritter
offer me her good wishes ? No. And after all
why should she — she or any one else ? Why on
earth ? Who or what am I ? A nobody, a zero.
A mortal without a guiding star. These lines
between my eyebrows grow deeper and deeper.*'
— He was standing in front of the looking-glass —
**my life grows narrower and shallower. I was a
singular, a remarkable entity ; — now I am a per-
fect insignificant non-entity.'*
*' But nature has gone to work very cunningly
with me,*' he suddenly exclaimed to himself " She
perceives, like a well-trained dog, that she must
obey the categorical imperative that commands in
me ; she is forbidden to think of Ottilie ; what
1 66 fridolin's mystical marriage.
does she do ? She worries herself with all my
other troubles, sighs over them, and so justifies
her dismal mood. Yes nature is cunning, — or
perhaps wise — now for breakfast. A quarter to
eight. Coffee ; hot coffee, and a warm new roll ;
and a capital idea too. — Let us make the best of
life and try not to be too dismal on this birthday, in
spite of our forty-one years, and the loss of forty-
Thus philosophising he went into the parrot-
room, in which he was accustomed to breakfast
and dine. But he stood still to stare with aston-
ishment as he opened the door. In the middle of
the table was a stupendous cake of a nature that was
especially dear to his soul, garlanded with spring
flowers ; a tall silver cup, with a cover that served
as a pedestal for a female figure, who, by the em-
blems she displayed, tried to show that she per-
sonified art — stood behind the cake, presiding
over it so to speak. Behind this again, an impos-
ing background, stood three of the body-guard in
the flesh; Rudolf, Franz, and the other young
architect ; all in their best clothes, as was due to
the solemnity of the occasion. To crown the
composition, quite at the back and in the centre,
stood Risotto, towering above the rest, like a bel-
fry tower ; and from his lips — from the top story
FRIDOUN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 167
of all as it were — came the greeting like a morn-
ing peal : ** Good- morning, Professor Fridolin/*
and ** Good- morning, Professor Fridolin/' echoed
the other three.
** Here we are/' added fat Rudolf Fridolin
looked at them all in silence ; he was dumb with
surprise and sudden emotion.
** Rudolf, it is your turn," murmured Risotto.
Rudolf stepped forward. He cleared his throat; —
but then he evidently recollected that his master,
who stood expectant before him, had always im-
pressed upon them all that they should start a
speech without any coughing and scraping, with
simplicity and dignity, so he began : " You did
not inform us, Fridolin, that to-day was your birth-
day ; but we knew it. We heard that you had
come home again ; so we have called this morn-
ing" — and he smiled — "to express to you by
these flowers " — and he pointed to the wreaths
on the table — "our deep respect — how much
we respect you. . ."
" And love you," added Franz, with hearty
" And love you," repeated Rudolf. "And to
offer you this cup, as a small testimonial from
your faithful disciples. . ."
1 68 fridolin's mystical marriage.
" All our names are engraved on it," Risotto
" And a token of our gratitude, and attach-
ment. . ."
** And sincere admiration," added the young
architect. Rudolf glanced over his shoulder, with
some annoyance at these interruptions: then he
" We wanted to find little Frivolin, and bring
him with us ; but he has hidden himself Where ?
We know not. We know no more of him than
of the Chinese language. . ."
"What has that to do with it ?" said Risotto.
" We should have made him serve as our poet
on the occasion," Rudolf went on. "For, to our
great regret, he is the only one of us all who has
sufficient. . ." He could not find the word he
wanted. " Who has the knack of turning verses —
the dodge of it."
" Dodge is not a classical word, in that sense
at least," interrupted Fridolin, who had listened up
to this, without moving a muscle. *' I prefer, if
necessary, knack even."
" Well, we have none of us that knack," Ru-
dolf went on, " and so, in our necessity, we were
forced to apply to Franz, and he, in all that con-
cerns poetry, is the most helpless creature. . ."
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 169
Franz smiled resignedly. "And on myself, and I
am just as helpless," added Rudolf good-humor-
edly. " We said that as there was absolutely no
alternative, we must just make the best of it what-
ever it might turn out ; whether it proved silly or
clever, lyric, tragic, romantic, philosophical, comi-
cal, pharmaceutical — so long as we hammered
" And it is a mixture of them all,'* suggested
Risotto from behind.
" It is the wildest nonsense at any rate," said
Franz, who now came to the front, with a frank
laugh. " Risotto and the young savage " — he
meant the young architect — "both had a finger
in the pie ; and now, with your permission, we
will recite these famous lines, each in turn, after
the manner of the chorus in a classical play.
Fridolin bowed his commands, and the four
young men placed themselves in a row.
" You begin," whispered Risotto to Franz, dig-
ging him in the ribs with a ponderous elbow.
Franz could not help laughing at the absurdity of
the performance, but he began :
" How stealthily the passing seasons stole
Till forty-one the bell of warning pole. . ."
" We have selected the most out-of-the-way
I/O FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
rhymes by preference whenever it has been prac-
ticable," Rudolf interrupted him to say.
" Go on ; do your worst/' said Fridolin. " My
dear Franz, pray proceed." Franz went on with
another grin :
* His one and forty years are now achieved,
So rumor whispered but I scarce believed.
* They are ' repeated memory's brazen tongue.
So this poor tribute to his feet we brung.
Poetic lucubration racked my soul,
What time I slowly eat my morning roll."
Then Rudolf came forward and went on :
" Perhaps — thought I — he feels the wishes true.
Which to his side this early morning flew ;
Perhaps he's jolly ; whistling and singing.
His conscious ears burning and loudly ringing ;
While to himself he says : ' Now by this token,
The day I had kept secret must have broken.' "
The young savage, coming forward :
•' He sighs, remembering the fateful night
When he — then but an infant — first saw the light ;
Since then how fast, how many years have flown —
Infancy, childhood, youth,— all past and gone.
Evening draws in ; * What will the coming day be?
What dreams I dreamed while I was yet a baby.
Old age steals in to grab me in his nippers,
I hardly hear him yet — he treads in slippers.' "
Risotto, in a voice broken by emotion :
" Nay, cheer up, master, life is on the whole
Before you still ; and smiles as once it smole.
What dost thou lack ? Does not a soul sublime
Though youth desert thee, triumph over time ?
And we stand firm your faithful body-guard
Nailed to the mast, though adverse winds blow hard."
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 171
Then Franz :
" And so we made these verses in your honor,
To wish you joy to-day, and eke to-morrow."
'* Honor and morrow are good !" exclaimed
Fridolin, trying to conceal the emotion he could
not help feeling. " How am I to thank you
enough for this poetical address, my friends ? for
these rhymes without — and yet with so much,
reason, of its kind — its kindly kind. You" are
right, — I am surq you are right :
' Courage he cried and pointed to the land.'
We are not old, so very old :
' That shore is still at some distance and there is life in the old
dog yet.' "
" That is right," said Risotto rubbing his
hands. "That is right."
" I really think there is a tear in my eye, as
the outcome of all this nonsense ; — well, well, I
am not ashamed of it. — But how am I to thank
you ? Shall I even attempt to thank you ? No.
Here is my hand — both my hands. Two at once
— so — and now you other two. You have done
me a far greater benefit than you wot of, — than
you could conceive of You are. . . but what ! not
172 fridolin's mystical marriage.
thank you ? Yes, I will. At least I will try to
thank you — in my own way. Here. . .*' he went
to a wardrobe and drew out the bottom shelf. It
was heaped with papers, waistcoats and other lum-
ber which the body-guard had stowed away on the
day when Ottilie had arrived. He pointed to the
waistcoats. " You wrote your names in these,'* he
said. " They were to become yours as soon as I
left them off. — I leave them off to-day. Take,
my beloved sons, that which belongs to you. I
am only an impecunious professor, all I have to
give you is a waistcoat now and then, — and the
true heart which once beat beneath it."
" Heaven be my witnsss," said Rudolf, with
honest feeling, " we are sincerely grateful to
" Still, thou hast never given me one," sighed
Franz humbly. " The crowning favor to be sure is
mine of being allowed to say thou. . ."
" But is that any reason that you should come
worst off? Choose a waistcoat that has no name
written in it; it is yours."
" And what do you want. Aunt Ritter ?" he
asked, as the dame suddenly appeared on the
scene, murmuring some inaudible words.
" I wish to be allowed to offer you my best
wishes too," she said a little louder. " I could not
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 73
keep quiet any longer. I did not dare say so be-
fore, Herr Professor. The young gentlemen made
me promise that I would not let on that I knew
what day it was. And may you live long and be
happy, Herr Professor,*' — she grasped the hand
he held out to her. '* And don't you find fault
quite so often ;** — she smiled at him with motherly
kindliness. ** Well, and may we always get on
and hang together, the professor and I."
" Aui\]t Ritter," replied Fridolin, " do you see
these young people, they are coming into their
inheritance. Each of them has just taken posses-
sion of the waistcoat I had bequeathed to him.
Can I give you a waistcoat too ? No. But I feel
to-day in a mood the converse of that of Richard
of England, as I remember him played by the
great Ludwig Devrient when you used to tremble
at him in your innocent youth : ' I am in a giving
mood to-day.' You once wished to have a lock
of my hair in your gold locket. Now in the brown
bedroom, lying on a sheet of yesterday's paper,
you will find forty-three hairs out of my head.
Take them, they are yours. And for the back of
that same locket — magnificent generosity on niy
part — I will give you my photograph ; the one
which you think such a flattering likeness, that
smiles at you like life. If ever I find fault, Aunt
174 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Ritter, open your locket, and hold up that smiling
photograph before my eyes, — and I promise to
smile. And now oblige me by going to send that
deaf wench of yours to open the door ; some one
has rung twice already. And then will you send
me an excellent cold breakfast with some old
Rhine wine for these four youngsters ; for we
must make it our first duty to christen this cup."
" Some one has rung for the third time/' re-
"They have answered the door now," said
Rudolf. The dining-room door opened, and a
young man, a stranger, with no more than a ten-
der dark down on his upper lip, came in. He
looked like a man who has just come from
the railway, after having travelled all night ; his
hair was in some disorder, he was interestingly
pale, and his clothes were covered with dust. The
color, however, mounted in his cheeks, as he ad-
vanced, without speaking, but evidently trying to
identify the master of the house. Fridolin, on his
part said nothing but gazed at the stranger.
" I believe I am not mistaken — you are he ?*'
the young man said at last in a very agitated
" I believe that I am he," replied Fridolin. *'If
you will have the kindness to tell me. . ."
" I must apologize," interrupted the stranger,
*' for intruding so early in the day — straight from
my journey — without waiting to dress — but in-
176 fridolin's mystical marriage.
deed I had not time — I could not delay. I must
set out again at once. I have come on my sister's
account, Herr Professor."
Fridolin looked hard at the excited lad who
spoke in a very pleasant, manly voice, in spite of
his evident embarrassment.
** I dare swear,** he cried suddenly, *' you are
Fraulein Ottilie's brother.'*
** Just so, sir. And I have come to ask you,
sir," — and his handsome, frank young face as-
sumed an expression that might have been called
threatening — " what is the meaning of this his-
tory — of this extraordinary behavior to my
** Behavior ! — My good friend, I entirely fail
to understand you."
" Pardon me," said the young man, coloring
violently : ** Do not call me your good friend, I
beg. If I ever could have supposed that my sis-
ter would be exposed to such treatment — to such
treatment," he repeated — *' as she has experi-
enced at your hands — I would never have con-
sented to her entering this house."
Fridolin simply stared. The body-guard,
much excited and mystified, formed in close order
and waited to hear their leader's reply.
" Who understands what this means ?" asked
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 77
Fridolin at length. ** I do not. If you really are
her brother — but yes, you certainly are — it is
written in your face — the brother whom she ex-
pected to see at Lake Garda ?'*
** I have been there to see her, sir, and I would
have seen her but that she was gone. After you
had deserted her in such an unwarrantable, such
an unheard-of way."
It was now Fridolin*s turn to color ; there was
a pause before he could decide to speak.
"You use strange expressions, young man,"
he said. ''Deserted? — I left the hotel. Oh!
yes, I certainly left. But Fraulein OttiHe was
safe in charge of my brother ; she is governess to
his little girl. If you call that. . ."
" You left her in charge of your brother — in
his care ? — How can you say that, sir, when your
brother had already left the place? — You came
away, sir, you left my sister alone with the little
girl; in an hotel; without money — like an im-
postor who cannot pay her bill — ;;/j' sister^ sir !
What reasons you may have had I cannot pretend
to know ; but I do not hesitate to tell you in so
many words, that a gentleman and a man of
honor. . ."
" Hallo !" cried Risotto coming forward.
" Say nothing, Risotto, I beg," said Fridolin,
178 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
who was struggling hard to keep his temper. " If
I require any defence I can defend myself Sir,*' he
went on to the young champion, — ** good God !
how is it possible to be so like her with a bass
voice and an infant moustache ? — Sir, I should
be infinitely obliged to you if for the moment you
would suspend your judgment as to the moral as-
pect of the case and inform me as to the logical
and historical connection of this extraordinary-
business ; how you came to know all about it, and
where Fraulein Ottilie now is — at this present
"Where she is at this moment! — That sir is
what I expected to learn from you ; that is what
I have travelled back to Berlin to ascertain ; I
have travelled day and night for that sole purpose.
And I tell you plainly, sir. . ."
" Pray, — a few minutes* patience and self-con-
trol ; wait before you tell me anything of the kind
— he is exactly like her, — exactly, — relieve me
in the first place of my terrible anxiety — treat
the subject historically if you possibly can. A
circumstantial narrative, I beg. — You reached
Riva?. . r
" Yes, I reached Riva ; I had written to tell my
sister that I would go that way to Rome In order
to see her " — Fridolin nodded — " for one day,
fridolin's mystical marriage. 179
or perhaps two ;" — Fridolin nodded again — "I
went to the hotel, and there I asked for her. She
is gone ! * Madame is gone * — said the waiter
laughing most insolently in my face. I sent for
the hotel-keeper : * Madame is off/ said he, with
his damned significant smile. — ^What do you want,
what are you staring at ?" he suddenly exclaimed
to Fridolin ; " what do you see in me to stare at
*' I beg your pardon — Ottilie to the life in
man's clothing; he is the most interesting looking
lad I ever saw in my life. — It is only your extra-
ordinary resemblance — I beg of you, I implore
you to proceed with your story.'*
" Well ; I asked — that is to say I tried in the
first place to make the man understand that he
had better keep his impertinence and insinuations
to himself; but I hate the Italian faces — well I
enquired : Do you mean to say that the whole
party has moved? — 'Oh! yes,' said he, 'all of
them, one by one. First the three gentlemen
made off, singly. At last the lady was left alone
with the child ; she made a great scene and turned
on her tears ; then she explained that she had ab-
solutely no money and could not pay me. If you
cannot pay, madamCy said I ' — as he told me —
' you will allow me to take legal steps in the mat-
i8o fridolin's mystical marriage.
ter ; for there is such a thing as a police force in
this country, I would have you to know madamey
and judges madame, . .' "
" Good God !" exclaimed Fridolin, who could
contain himself no longer, " police ! judge ! —
what has happened ? Is she in prison ?"
** Have the goodness to leave go of my arm,*'
said the youth rather hotly. " No, not in prison.
If she were I should hardly speak to you so coolly
as I do — I should, in plainer words perhaps. . ."
" My dear sir, I entreat you to have a little
longer patience, to continue your story in an ob-
jective key to the end. — His indignation becomes
him well, — to tell me in three words what has
*' In three words then : she is gone. A gen-
tleman arrived that same evening, he had some
conversation with her ; he was known to her it
would seem. Then she made a long explanation,
of which the hotel-keeper could make neither
head nor tail, as he does not understand German.
However, the gentleman paid the bill ; — at which
the man chose to laugh very insultingly," added
the young man, biting his lip, " Next morning
they all three set out, — my sister, the little girl,
and this gentleman, — all three together, in a car-
riage for Trent."
fridolin's mystical marriage. i8i
** Leopold ! I hope and believe that it was
Leopold !" cried Fridolin.
" I do not know who Leopold may be/* re-
torted Ottilie's brother. " I only know that this
gentleman, over whose advent the landlord smiled
so insolently — and I could not for the life of me
recollect the word ' impudenza ' at the moment —
that this gentleman before he started, wrote his
name in the visitors' book as ^Frivolino, pittorCy
Berlino' That is all I know about him."
" Frivolin !" exclaimed Risotto. ''Now the
murder is out !"
'' I beggied you to be silent, my son," inter-
rupted the professor. " What do you say ? You
found little Frivolin on the shores of LakeGarda?
Did he follow us ? Has that little Don Juan
rushed after Fraulein Ottilie ? Accompanied her
to Trent ? Trent ! Telegraph to Trent, at once,
** That is superfluous," answered the young
man, who at the words ' Don Juan ' had grown
more gloomily wrathful than ever. " I went to
Trent, direct from Riva. I asked at every hotel
for a young lady with a little girl and a gentleman,
and, at last, at the Corona^ they told me that three
travellers, answering my description, had passed
through and supped there, but had gone on by
1 82 fridolin's mystical marriage.
the night express for the north. This was the last
trace I could find of her. The porter mentioned
the name of Bolzano ; of Botzen ; I went to Bot-
zen and hunted through every hotel, every restau-
rant, every street, — in vain. No sign of them.
So then I set out for Berlin, to find you, at any
" Good God ! — When he looks at me like that,
he has exactly his sister's eyes; hazel eyes, —
but we know nothing about them, nothing what-
ever. — Out in the wide world under Frivolin's
care. — Where can we turn ? What can we do ?
We ought to do something at once, — and my
brother has disappeared, you say — I cannot un-
derstand it at all. Disappeared, vanished, leaving
his Judica — I cannot understand it ! — It is rid-
dle upon riddle ! Well, sir — Herr Ritter, — Fer-
dinand Ritter if I mistake not. . ."
The young man bowed.
" For my share in this catastrophe, Herr Rit-
ter, — just her nose, — I will presently account to
you. But for the present our first endeavor must
be to find this lost sister of yours. Telegraph ! —
where to ? — Everywhere, of course. But where
can she be ? As she has not come back to this
house, — which would have been her simplest and
most obvious course. . ."
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 83
*' And do you imagine, sir, that after being
treated in such a way, my sister would ever have
thought, for a single instant, of returning to this
Fridolin reddened. *' How like he is to her !
Positively delightful ! — Go on by all means, my
young friend. You can mak6 speeches while I
act. Talk as much as you please, — I will tele-
graph. Franz, my son, sit down; here, at this
table ; — pen, paper, ink, a telegraph form. Now,
to my brother Philip ; at Neustadt. If he left
Riva so suddenly where can he have gone ? Why,
home of course. Where would Fraulein Ottilie
most naturally take his daughter ? Why, home to
him. Probably, — probably is perhaps too strong;
let us say possibly. At any rate we can but try.
So now for a telegram.
" Are you at home. Has Fraulein Ottilie fol-
lowed you with Judica. If not what news have
you of her movements.
" How many words ?" he asked, when Franz
had written this.
*' Twenty-one with the name at the end."
'* Strike out 'yon' * Followed with Judica,' so
many words are not laconic, not telegrammic.
1 84 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Now Strike out * have you ' and insert * answer pre-
paid.' That is twenty words exactly. Strictly en
" And now. . . ?" asked Franz rising.
" Now take the telegram, put on your hat, and
be off like a lamplighter."
" Do you sit down in his place, Risotto,*' he
went on ; *' we must telegraph elsewhere. — If you
would not mind telling me, Herr Ritter, it would
forward matters if you could suggest any one to
whom your sister might have turned for protection,
as she is not here ; if she has not taken Judica to
*' Where else she can have gone ?"
'^ Just so."
** To her uncle, perhaps — her uncle and mine,
with whom she was living before she came here."
** A highly probable idea. There is everything
in its favor. Now, if you would be so good as to
tell me that uncle's address."
" Here is his card," replied the young man,
taking out his pocket-book and handing a visiting-
card to Fridolin — '* or shall I, perhaps I ought. . ."
" No, no, this is my affair, my duty ; it is I
who am guilty, I who am responsible ; you your-
self said so. Write, Risotto, the address first from
this visiting-card. Have you got it? — That is
fridolin's mystical marriage. 185
well, now go on : * Kindly inform me whether
Fraulein Ottilic Ritter is with you. If not where
is she? Reply paid/ And my address — just
twenty words, good."
'^ Shall I take it ?" asked Risotto.
'* Yes, my little giant, go, and sacrifice your-
self to the cause. We must all be swift, decided,
and prompt to-day. Go, fly with the telegram. —
Risotto is off. Now, no delay on our part — let us
leave no stone unturned. Where else can we let
our cry to the rescue be heard ? To whom may
your sister have gone besides your uncle? Who; or
what else may she have thought of?"
" I can only think of an aunt in Potsdam,"
said the young man. " This aunt not long since
invited her to stay with her. . ."
'' To stay with her ! This again is a hypothesis
that has much in its favor. — The very name of
Potsdam has something pleasing in it when it is
Ottilie's brother who says it. — We will telegraph
to Potsdam at once. Her address, if I may be al-
lowed. . ."
** I do not know it unfortunately."
" Not even the name of the street ?"
*' This cannot be entrusted to the telegraph. It
1 86 fridolin's mystical marriage.
is a question of time and intelligence. My dear
Rudolf, a train starts for Potsdam within the next
quarter of an hour ; in five minutes at the latest
you must be at the station ; in three quarters of an
hour you will be on the bridge at Potsdam. Go
straight to the head office of police, enquire for
this aunt — her name, Herr Ritter?"
" Frau Altsch wager, Antonie Altsch wager, arti-
ficial flower- maker, or something of the kind, I
** Something of the kind — quite clue enough,
my dear Rudolf, for a mind like yours. Ask for
her, find her out, see her, discover how matters
stand. Thank God ! it is holiday-time, and we can
give the time and attention to this business that it
requires. What, you are not gone yet ? — Ah !
he is going, — take my blessing, my dear fellow,
and earn my gratitude."
" How soon can he be back again ?" Fridolin
asked himself, as he looked at his watch. It is a
quarter to nine. — Let us give him two hours ; —
or, to allow for human fallibility, let us say three. —
Gone off with that wretched little Frivolin ? Now,
can we find no clue by which to trace this Frivolin?
Let us consider where he may have gone — I
think, if I remember rightly, that he once told me
that he lived here in Berlin with a brother, — a^
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 8/
red-haired brother with no talent for anything.
Savage, am I correct ?'*
The young savage nodded.
** Do you know where he lives ?*'
** Oh, yes. Certainly."
*'ls it far from this?"
** No, quite near."
" Then put on your most stylish head-piece,
my boy, and fly on the wings of the wind. Go
and see this brother. Ask him if he knows any-
thing of the absconded Frivolin. . ."
" Should we not do better to use the local tele-
graph. . . ?" suggested the young architect, who
at this instant saw the girl come in with the break-
fast that had been ordered.
" Your own good legs are surer," said the pro-
fessor. ** You will be quicker there and quicker
back again. Earn your breakfast, by showing a
philosophical superiority to its charms. . ."
** Good ! he is off too !" said Fridolin, as the
last of the four body-guards quitted the room,
and he was left alone with Ottilie's brother. " Now,
my dear sir, we have leisure to think of my ex-
cuses ; and you shall condemn me if you consider
me guilty. Here stands Clavigo ; there stands
his accuser, Beaumarchais. Put me altogether
out of the question. Still, do not you think it
1 88 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
would be wise to improve the critical faculties by-
recruiting your physical strength, or to combine
the two. Meanwhile let us breakfast."
" Thank you very much," said the young fel-
low, with a smile that he could not entirely con-
ceal. " But I really could not eat anything. Thank
you all the same."
" You are determined to try the case fasting, —
he smiled, his smile is like hers, and such a smile !
— Herr Ferdinand Ritter, why do you hesitate ?
Why do you say nothing ?"
'' Forgive me," said his guest blushing ; " I see
from all the efforts you are making, that I have
done you an injury ; that you are certainly no
guilty party to this mysterious and extraordinary
affair. I hardly know what to say — I — pray for-
" Forgive you ? For being such a chivalrous,
nay, such a truly brotherly champion of your sis-
ter's rights ?"
"But I have spoken very strongly — too
strongly to you," and the young fellow blushed a
deeper crimson than before. " In my first excite-
ment. . .in the firm belief, that. . . you know, I did
say some very strong things. . ." he repeated, with
an awkward smile.
" His smile is even pleasanter than hers. —
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAI, MARRIAGE. 1 89
But I thank you sincerely for speaking so
strongly, Herr Ritter; it has revealed to my
acquaintance one of the best — one of the most
ideal brothers that ever came within my ken. It is
you who must forgive me for venturing to say so
much. And yet, why should I not ? — Why should
not men express their respect, their admiration for
each other ? so long as it is genuine. — And nature
has made you in every respect your sister's brother,
the worthy champion of such a sister. You are
only another edition of her, a translation into an-
other tongue. A translation into the stronger and
firmer language of manhood. Do I interpret your
action rightly ? You offer me your right hand ?
Here is mine. The right hand of forgiveness and
reconciliation — of mutual good understanding.
It gives me the greatest pleasure, Herr Ferdinand
Ritter, — Ferdinand, a good name, — it makes me
happy to think that we are friends. We have lost
your sister in an utterly incomprehensible and un-
accountable way ; but do not let that worry us ;
by using our intelligence and acumen we shall find
her again, rely upon it."
'* I have no doubt of it," replied Ferdinand
Ritter. "The way in which you have set to work —
and my sister's courage and determination, — I am
not really anxious ; not in the least, — and I am
I90 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
most grateful to you ; if only you will forgave
" Forgive ? — I will not hear that word again.
It has no sense as between you and me. But why
do we stand ? I have not yet bid you be seated.
That is really monstrous. Let us both be seated,
by this table which is so invitingly spread. You
will not eat anything — then at least you will drink
something ? out of these green hock glasses, Herr
Ferdinand, — you will allow me I trust, as an old
professor, to call you by your Christian name —
he nods — he smiles — what a charming expres-
sion — to your very good health ! and our success !
The gurgle of the wine as the first glass is poured
out, is to me one of the most delightful sounds in
nature. It reminds me of the hesitating, bashful
sighs of a maiden at the first kiss. . ." he suddenly
checked himself; he thought of Ottilie. He re-
membered that he was in love with her. But " a
change had come o'er the spirit of his dream."
The thought was no longer anguish ; nay, not even
a pang. Here he sat, his old self, Fridolin the old
bachelor, who never would and never could marry,
no longer Count Egmont, sighing for a lady fair,
but Professor Socrates, the teacher of men, ab-
sorbed in watching the development of a youthful
intelligence. He looked round upon himself, as it
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. I9I
were, and could not help smiling. He could have
fancied that, behind a veil, he saw mother nature ,
herself, fixing her calm, wise gaze on him, as much
to say: "Yes, my son, this is the way I cheat you;
I cure you of your love of the sister by inspiring
you with friendship for the brother, and so lead
you back to your true self — keep you balanced,
as it were, between yourself and yourself, and by
this subtle see-saw I keep you faithful to the bond
between your two selves. What was Qttilie to you ?
Here she is in another guise. Look at this frank and
simple-minded boy; as handsome as she herself!
Open his mind, educate him, fill his soul with lofty
sentiments, with wide ideas, and so make him your '
own. Was Socrates happy with Xantippe ? No.
His happiness lay in discovering noble youths,
whose teacher, master, father and friend, he might
become — and this shall be yours. There he sits
opposite you. You have only to fulfil your
" This is capital wine," said Fefdinand
modestly, breaking the silence after a rather long
pause : " But you, Herr Professor, are drinking
nothing/' Fridolin came to himself with a start;
he nodded to the lad, and then, sat gazing at him
with a softened and kindly expression.
" That is the first time you hlsive addressed me
192 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
as * Herr Professor ;' " he said. " Let it be the last,
Ferdinand ; from your lips it has an unnatural —
an inhuman sound. * Herr Professor !' how happy
were the ancients, the early Greeks, who knew
not the use of titles, who spoke always as man to
man. — Call me Fridolin, neither more nor less.
All my young friends call me so, and I count you
already as one of them. Say it pray, — say Fri-
'' Fridolin," said Ferdinand ; modestly, but
with some pride and amusement.
'' Fridolin ! — the name sounds delightful from
your lips. Your sister, — what was I going to say
to you about your sister, — I have forgotten. —
Fill your glass ; there is something I wish to say
to you, and I am not afraid of its making you
vain ; for I can read your character in those brown
eyes of yours — you have some sound sense and
ideality. Clink your glass against mine, my friend,
I will drink to your remaining as unspoilt, as good-
hearted, as — as ideal, as you are at this moment.
Say nothing, — you blush, well and good, — but
do not disclaim. I know, I can see, Ferdinand,
that you arc made of the right stuff. I rather flat-
ter myself that I have something of the eye — the
* daimon ' — of Socrates ; yours is a noble soul in
a noble form. — How innocently bashful, how pa-
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 93
thetically he looks at me — Ferdinand, your hand.
You compelled my esteem by flinging your ac-
cusations and insults so frankly in my teeth ; and
now, when you look in my face with such friendly
confidence, you quite make me love you."
*' Fridolin," exclaimed the lad starting up, for
he was much too excited to sit still, ** what a
splendid fellow you are, — what a generous ! . . ."
he broke off and gazed with admiration at his new
ally, '* is it possible — if it ever could be possible,
that you could be my friend. . .*'
'' It is the accomplished fact," said Fridolin
heartily, to conceal his too ecstatic mood ; and he
grasped the boy's hands warmly. '' Why should
we postpone it for a year, or till the autumn, or
till to-morrow? Now or never. I can read your
soul in your eyes, Ferdinand ! and behind those
windows dwell youthful candor, a pure and whole-
some nature, and a lofty spirit of enthusiasm. En-
thusiasm is everything ! Endow a man with every
good gift and deprive him of that sacred fire, and
you have left him dead though he live. When I
find true enthusiasm in a young breast, I believe
in that man, I have hopes of him, — I love him at
once. Yes, bpy, and so I love you ! You, do I
say ? — But those happy Greeks had no such for-
mality. My old heart, which you have warmed,
194 FRIDOLIN S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
can stand on no such ceremony. Why should we
wait until the exchange of a few thousand words
has made us familiar ? Give me that cup, — the
silver cup, with the silver figure on the top. We
will consecrate it ! Empty the bottle into it.
Drink, my boy, drink. To enthusiasm, friendship,
love — and thou.''
" How foolish we are," Fridolin began again
when they both had drunk, and Ferdinand was
standing before him in a sort of rapture, quite
overcome by his feelings. ** And how short-sighted
when we despair in the morning of the day before
us. We unforeseeing creatures, we blind moles of
the upper world, never know what it may bring
forth. Could I possibly have imagined, an hour
ago, that this birth-day of mine, which I so hear-
tily cursed, would bring me so much happiness ? —
But now, as I look at you, my dear Ferdinand,
I perceive that you look for all the world like a
little smutty town sparrow — and are still in pre-
cisely the same state as you were when the Berlin
railway company restored you to the civilized
world. Let me conduct you into the adjoining
room ; there I can supply you with soap, a comb
and brush — and a clean shirt. And then, when
Adonis rises clean and fresh from the soapy foam,
you shall be introduced to your affectionate aunt ;
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 195
for it has just occurred to me that Frau Therese
Ritter is in fact your aunt, and that you, you vil-
lain — what a word to use to so noble a youth —
that you have not yet paid your respects to her."
*' A TELEGRAM," said the messenger, to whom
Aunt Ritter opened the door. " For the Herr
" A telegram !" cried Fridolin, who had heard
the announcement through the half-opened door.
** A telegram already. — Well, I have always said
that next to lighting by gas, which has enabled us
at last to obtain a decent amount of lighting in our
houses — the electric telegraph is the greatest dis-
covery of the century, my dear Ferdinand, and an
evidence of the benevolence of Providence. Here>
man of electricity, here is your receipt; you
would like a cigar for your pains ? — Well, take
one out of that box. When I am so happy shall
I let you pine ? No ! Good-morning. — Now for
** From whom ?" asked Ferdinand.
** Not from my brother, as I fancied it was;
from your uncle, my son. — ' My niece Ottilie not
here. Much disturbed by your telegram. Know
nothing of her movements.' So that is all the
good we have done by that ; we have * much dis-
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 9/
turbed ' the worthy man, which was aUke un-
necessary and useless. There is no blessing in the
telegraph, my boy !'*
" There is the bell again," remarked Aunt
Ritter — who had been gazing at her nephew, the
son of her *scholard brother,' with pride and ad-
miration — and she trotted off to the door.
** A telegram," said a voice outside, *'for the
'* I can hardly call this the quietest morning of
my life," observed Fridolin. " Hand it here. Fer-
dinand is watching me with eager expectation in
his eyes. You are not a philosopher yet, my son.
— But beautifully clean, exquisitely combed, a
truly pleasing object. — Here, — here is the re-
ceipt. Shall I be partial, unjust? — No! Take a
cigar out of that box. He smiles his gratitude.
Good morning Now for the telegram."
" From your brother ?" asked Ferdinand.
"Yes. ' I am here.' The wretch ! the traitor !
' Know nothing of OttiHe. Fearfully anxious.
Cannot understand it' There, you see, he too is
* fearfully anxious.' Confound the Jelegraph !"
Ferdinand had read it over his shoulder. ''He
says, 'send further particulars,' you see."
"Further particulars, — that means another
198 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
telegram. — And what do we know more than he
does. Ferdinand, this is chaos come again/'
*' Well, at any rate," said Ferdinand laughing,
*' Philosophy is overthrown it would seem."
" You have got so far already as to laugh at
mc, have you ? — and wonderfully well it becomes
him — you are right, I will try to keep my bal-
ance ; I will telegraph to him again. Bless me,
but why is he not here instead of at Neustadt,
what business has this clerical traitor to be at
Neustadt ? — Yes, I will telegraph to him -r- sit
down, my dear Ferdinand, and write it for me."
** I am ready."
" Further explanations by word of mouth; not
otherwise. Come here to-day. Europe expects
it of you. Answer paid."
** That will bring him, Ferdinand ; he must
come after that. There is no blessing like the tele-
'' Hark ! A ring !"
** A telegram," said the man to whom Aunt
Ritter opened the door, ** for the Herr Pro-
*' The box of cigars that I keep for worthy
persons, will be emptied to-day," cried Fridolin.
" And from whom is this message ? Here, my
good man — your receipt and a cigar. Let us see.
FRIDOUN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 1 99
What ? from Rudolf, from Potsdam ? already ?
It is the most marvellous discovery of the*^ age !
' I found Frau Altsch wager at once. She knows
nothing ; she is now most uneasy. Back by next
train. Rudolf — Why need the idiot telegraph ?
Do you call that information? * Most uneasy.'
And still we know nothing ; three times has it been
borne in upon us, my dear Ferdinand, that we
" That everlasting old bell!" grumbled Aunt
Ritter as she went once more to open the door.
Fridolin listened, expecting to hear for the fourth
time, the announcement of a telegram for the
Herr Professor but it came not. The voices of the
body-guard became audible, one after another;
Risotto and the .young savage noisily entered the
" We picked up the little savage on our way,"
said Risotto, panting for breath, " and came on
with him. . . ."
** And we have found •FrivoHn's brother,"
added Franz, equally out of breath. ** He was at
home. And he had just. . ."
" Just had a letter from Frivolin," the young
architect went on with eager haste.
*' He has had a letter," roared the professor.
** Of course you have brought it with you ? — His
200 fridolin's mystical marriage.
Majesty's post ! that is the highest achievement
of civilization. — Read it aloud."
" I will," cried the savage who held it in his
hand. *'Dear old carrot head, here I am at the
* Niirnberger Hof ' at Leipzic, in pawn. I have
spent all my money in a highly interesting way,
and am stuck here in consequence, my pockets
being equally void of small change and of the
handsomer forms of specie. Kindly throw in
supplies — fifty thalers, let us say — if you happen
to have them. Your brother, as usual,
" Is that all ?" asked Ferdinand.
" And that is the way people misuse the post!"
cried Fridolin, indignantly. *'That is not a letter,
it is a telegram. What is there in it ? Nothing.
* Send money,' that is all. So he is left without
money too; meanwhile, where is Ottilie?"
** The letter tells us his whereabouts, at any
rate," observed Ferdinand, reddening with sup-
pressed fury. '* If my sister — if she should not
be in the same hotel. . ." and he stammered with
agitation. " At least he can tell us where he left
her ; where she is now, perhaps. I will go to him.
Niirnberger Hof; Leipzic."
''You, my son, you will go?"
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 20I
" Yes, why not ? I am her brother."
" Very true, you are her brother," replied Fri-
dolin. ** I will go with you — may I go with you ?"
He glanced at his second telegram to Philip, which
was lying on the table. '' To be sure, there is my
brother — Philip, my helpless, useless brother.
Dare I — ought I, to go ? No : I must wait here
for his answer, for himself! Oh ! my friends, what
a day this has been ! — But you are right ; she is
your sister. Go, my good Ferdinand, my Otti-
lius, I will follow you ; yes, I will follow you
'* How soon ?" asked the young man, looking
at him with frank affection.
"How soon? — As soon as my wish to see
you and the possibilities of life coincide like two
identical triangles ; as soon as fate smiles upon me
once more. We each have our duties cut out for
us. You have a sister, I have a brother on my
hands. Let us do it ! Go, my son, — it is nine
o'clock. And I will rouse the emulation of these
young men by telling them what a man you are,
Ottilius. — Now, do you wish to miss the next
train ? No ! Then take your overcoat and hat,
say good-bye prettily, and be off. Farewell."
" Good-bye," said Ferdinand, smiling with
simple grace, and he grasped Fridolin's hand.
202 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
Then he put his soft brown felt hat on his curly
head and threw his overcoat across his shoulder,
with an air of youthful enterprise. Fridolin
watched him ; he said nothing : but he took an
artist's pleasure in- observing his strength and
grace. It was not till Ferdinand had disappeared
with a last wave to the professor and his body-
guard, that he moved to followjiim. Then, from
the landing, he called after him : '* Ottilius, wait
one moment ; how you rush away ! I tremble for
the end — you are vanishing out of my life as you
came into it ! Were you anything but *an appari-
tion, a vision, a thought — laugh at me if you
will, but stop one minute. Your neck-cloth is
crooked. Allow mc to put it straight. Ottilius !
my child, you must do something great, you must
distinguish yourself; I expect it of you ! I will
telegraph to you to Leipsic as to what it is that I
expect of you. Henceforth I have but one object
in the world; — you are that object. Now, once
more, let me put your hat straight, for you have
got it a little too much on one side — and go —
and do not look back to see whether I am watch-
ing you over the banisters."
" Leipsic," shouted the guard, as the train for
Munich stopped in the station at Leipsic. The
brake growled and buzzed in its deepest bass, and
then the train was still. Almost all the passengers
alighted ; and among them was Leopold. He slung
the wallet that had been lying on the seat by his
side over his shoulder, compared his watch with
the station clock — an operation he never missed
performing — ; they differed but slightly, the station
clock asserting that it was a quarter to ten. It was
a pleasant April morning and the sun had already
warmed the air. The day promised to be brilliant,
perhaps hot: ** I should hardly know that I was
not still in Italy," thought Leopold ; " the trees
still bare, and the hideous new houses, and the
natives — above all the natives — show me, how-
ever, that I have come north. On to Berlin this
afternoon ! But why to Berlin ? What is there for
me to do in Berlin ?" and he sighed. **No. To-
day I will stay in Leipsic ; to-morrow to Beriin.
I will spend the day here. Not a soul knows me
here — a charm which Leipsic has in common
204 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
with Peschiera and Verona. — So I will stop
He went out of the station ; and as he had
nothinj^ by way of luggage but his umbrella and
his travclling-bag — which, it is true, was full al-
most to bursting, he would have nothing to say to
the porters and loafers who pressed their services
upon him, but loitered on, towards the town, leav-
ing it to chance to direct his steps, and being fully
resolved not to select his quarters by the guidance
of Baedeker, but by the temptations they might
offer to his eye and nose, and simply to turn in at
the inn which most took his fancy.
'*I remember," said he to himself as he walked
on, '• that there is a certain ' Niirnberger Hof ' not
far from this station ; I stopped there once ; so
that is to be avoided, particularly as I recollect
that I did not like the place. Right enough !
there it stands. We will pass that by on the other
He walked across the road, but could not help
gazing up at the front of the house, with a pathetic
reminiscence of the time when, on the occasion of
his first wide flight into the world, he had stood at
one of those upper windows, and looked out on
the prosaic and crowded masses of buildings, and
the hideous barrenness of the surrounding coun-
fridolin's mystical marriage. 205
try ; but then all was interesting and wonderful,
for all was new ; the world lay before him with
everything to win and nothing to lose. " I feel,"
thought he, ** as if I were sixty years older now
than I was then. — It was that corner window. I
remember I sat alone that evening, writing a long
account home, of my travels ; I had a sort of
eerie feeling. — there was a singing and buzzing in
my ears — and that was the first time that she ever
came and stood behind my chair, and looked over
my paper ; and though she said nothing, I said to
myself: it is she. — That was the beginning of
our acquaintance. What a child I was then ! — A
perfect baby ; — well all that is past and gone. I
am sixty if I am a day ! — Yes, it was at that win-
dow, where a lady is looking out at this moment.
— A young lady — Ottilie ? — A feeling came over
me at that moment, as though I had seen Ottilie
again! — I felt so before, at Desenzano — and at
Verona, in the Piazza delle Erbe ; is there any-
thing in this world more provoking, more delud-
ing, than eyes like mine, particularly when there
is something not quite right with the brain behind
them. I must wait and see her again to convince
myself that it is not she — that it is she ! By
Heaven ! It is she ! — Ottilie ! The shade of her
face, the color of her hair, the way she holds her
2o6 fridolin's mystical marriage.
head ! — Ottilie ! My heart is going Hke mad. If
only she would look this way. — How pale she is !
She will not look this way — nothing will induce
her. — Is it she ? Yes. Or is my eyesight dazed ?
But who is that coming up behind her ? What can
this mean ? A man ? And that man is — oh !
Am I going mad ? Or is this second sight? —
She is speaking to him — she is refusing him
something. . ."
'' Where do you wish to go ?" asked the por-
ter, as Leopold rushed into the ' Niirnberger-Hof,'
and straight up the stairs. Leopold muttered
something that no human ear could have made
sense of, and flew up, three steps at a time, out of.
the porter's ken.
It was on the second floor ; that he remem-
bered. It must be that door in a corner of the
passage, that he felt instinctively, and he paused
in front of it. Should he knock ? or should he
simply walk in ? — He heard voices within ; a
man's and a woman's. The man was whispering,
and so at first was she ; but presently she spoke
louder and he recognized her voice.
**You have heard what I say," she was
saying. " Good Heavens ! Have you not
" Shall I wait any longer ?" thought Leopold,
fridolin's mystical marriage. 207
But even while he was thinking he had turned the
handle of the door.
Yes, he had been right. It was Frivolin.
Frivolin, his eyes sparkling, his face crimson —
and at this instant on his knees before Ottilic
'* You are insolent, sir, audacious,*' said the
young girl, as she drew back from him, her very
temples dyed with blushes. ** Go, leave me. . ."
she broke off, perceiving that some one was stand-
ing at the door, and turned very pale. Leopold,
without speaking a word, went up to FrivoHn who
stood up, and clutched his arm.
" You — you. . .'* he began, quite beside him-
self He was so completely out of breath, his
heart was beating so violently, and he felt so furi-
ous, and so miserable that he could not find an-
other word. He felt only from the state of his
own mind that something must happen ; and to
begin with, half fearing that the object of his in-
dignation might vanish into thin air or sink
through the floor, he seized Frivolin by the breast
of his coat.
** Leopold ! . . ." shrieked Frivolin, and OttiHe
gave a little cry of surprise ; but of joy at the
same time and Leopold thrilled at the sound. But
the next instant she came forward, laid her hand
208 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
on the arm that held Frivolin, and hurriediy tried
to release him.
** Pray, pray. . . !" she said with a steady voice :
** No personalities or violence. I am greatly obliged
to you, but I can settle with this gentleman my-
self. I have told him what he is ; and now have
only to request him to go — and never to enter
this room again ; — then it will be all right. You
hear what I say, sir, and you have only to go."
*' I will go,'* said Frivolin making a really
heroic effort to preserve his dignity. " With re-
gard to this gentleman. . ." he forgot in his di-
lemma that Leopold was an old friend, a chum of
his own — ** he has only to explain his wishes ; I
am very much at his service when and where he
" Insol. . ." but Ottilie interrupted him before
the word was out of his mouth, laying her finger
on her lips with a most bewitching gesture of
** Say nothing, if you would oblige me," she
said. " I am here in my own room, and I can de-
fend myself There is no reason whatever why
you gentlemen should talk big to each other ; I
am the only offended person, and I have settled
the matter with the offender. Herr — Herr Leo-
pold," she could only recall his Christian name :
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 209
" May I ask you to come more this way — a little
nearer to me ; be so good as to stand there ; this
gentleman can find his way out, without your as-
** You are most kind I am sure !" said Frivolin,
with forced irony, and a very dignified demeanor,
as he flattered himself — but, as a matter of fact,
he positively stuttered with angry confusion. "You
treat the matter just as you — as I — in short, as you
treat it. I . . . Fraulein Ottilie. . . Good morning !"
He drew himself to his utmost height and re-
tired with the air of not choosing to trouble him-
self any further about so insignificant an episode
in his life ; he thus reached the door-post, but un-
luckily missed the door ; it was not till he came
into sharp contact with the wall that he realized that
he should have steered rather more to the right —
and he steered to the right accordingly. He stood
in the door- way ; his way was clear ; everything
lay behind him ; to be sure, so did his hat. He
suddenly became conscious that he had forgotteti
his hat ; painfully conscious. — Should he fetch it ?
No. Send for it? Yes; by and bye. For the
present exit at any cost — bare-headed, but with
dignity. — So he stalked out — as he thought —
strutted out as it appeared to Ottilie, and shut the
door behind him
2IO FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
" So, that is well over/' said she trying to
" And I may not go after him ?" said Leopold,
whose heart throbbed harder than ever. " You will
not let me go after him ? Not after that — that —
"No," she said; and suddenly conscious of
being alone with him she blushed scarlet. " I see
no reason why you should. Is a woman neces-
sarily such a child, such a helpless baby, that she
must always find a man to take her part ? — He
has had his answer and now he may go."
*' But you ? — How come you to be here ?
Where are all the others ? Where is Fridolin ?"
She could not help coloring to-day much oftener
than was at all convenient.
" I will tell you all about it. . ." she said with
an effort. " Just now — Hark ! Judica is moving.
Hush, pray hush."
"Where is she ?"
" In there, close by."
" Is she in bed ?" Ottilie nodded. " Is she
" Poor little thing — yes, of course she is ill.
If not, should we still be here ? — Hark ! she is
moving again. Excuse me for one minute ; — or
come in and see her."
FRIDOLIN'S mystical marriage. 2X1
" Yes, I will go with you," he said in a low
voice. They went into the next room ; it was care-
fully darkened, and on a huge bed lay little Judica,
looking like a doll in a child's crib ; she had opened
her eyes and turned a very red and swollen little
face to her two visitors. She smiled when she saw
Leopold. " That is clever !" she exclaimed in the
quaint, old-fashioned way that we so often observe
in a sick child, and she held out her hot hands.
'' At last Aunt Ottilie some one has come to see
us. Do you know, Leopold, I am ill."
" So it appears," he replied ; " erysipelas, rose
rash, — is it not ?"
" So the doctor says," replied Ottilie. " And
it looks like it."
" But why do you keep her in bed ?"
" When it first appeared yesterday, on our way
here, the gentleman. . ." the poor girl could not
help coloring again, and she hesitated — " our es-
cort was very much alarmed, and insisted on our
stopping here in Leipsic instead of proceeding to
Berlin. He brought us to this hotel, and he fetched
the doctor — an elderly, slow sort of man. . ."
** One of the old school," interrupted Leo-
" I do not know of what school ; but when
Herr — Herr Frivolin asked rather urgently wheth-
212 FRIDOLIN'S mystical MARRIAGE.
er the child had not better stay here for a night,
or even remain till she was well again, the doctor
said she positively must. He shook his head and
frightened me out of my wits. He sent the child
to bed at once ; and ordered that she should have
a warm dry handkerchief over her face — and you
have fidgeted it off, you bad little patient.*'
** Oh, it made me so hot,'* said the little girL
** Must I be made so hot, Leopold ?"
Leopold gently passed his hand over her face.
Then he turned to Ottilie with the perfect presence
of mind that he had at once recovered by the side
of the child's sick-bed.
"Fraulein Ottilie," he said, " I am still young;
I am still no more than a student ; I am not a
physician. At the same time I am quite sure that
I understand this case better than your old gen-
tleman." He spoke with quiet certainty. " His
method of treating erysipelas can never be the
right one. Have you enough confidence in my
beardless face to allow me to take the case in hand
on my own method ?"
Ottilie looked him in the face. She could not
help wondering at the total disappearance of all
tension or embarrassment from the situation —
they now seemed impossible. His grave grey eyes,
his high forehead, made him look so much older —
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 213
and his frank smile made him look so much
younger than he really was. " Certainly," she said
at once, without stopping to consider. " Confi-
dence ? certainly."
" Then you authorize me to treat Judica as I
'* I really do not know why I should feel such
confidence in you," said she laughing. *' But I do.
What do you advise ?".
" A cooling lead lotion," he said briefly. " No
flannel ; no dry heat. She is very slightly fever-
ish, " — he had meanwhile felt her pulse, and now
produced a thermometer out of his pocket —
" nothing to signify. But it must strike you as very
odd that I should speak with such confidence. I. . .
I thought you were smiling : — No ? You were not
smiling! When I have read the thermometer, I
will try to persuade our little patient to try to get
up like other people, and I will procure the lotion."
" No, no, I will attend to that," said Ottilie
promptly, and she rang the bell and sent the order
to the chemist's.
Judica got up. She had gazed at her new
doctor all this time in much amazement. As soon
as she was dressed she went to the looking-glass,
discovering her altered appearance with the great-
214 fridolin's mystical marriage.
" I say," she began : " How came you to find
us here ? Did FrivoHn telegraph to you ?"
** No," answered Leopold, and he looked at
" He said he would telegraph, last even-
ing," murmured Ottilie. ** Whether he really
**Most probably he did not," muttered Leo-
pold. " I have not come/rom Berlin, my child,'^
he added aloud, ** I was on my way from Italy.
And you — why have you come away from Lake
Garda ? How is it that I find you here in Leip-
*' Oh ! do not you know ?" cried the child.
" Papa and Uncle Fridolin were both obliged to
leave quite suddenly ; — on family business," added
she with an air of importance, " and about his mys-
tical carriage. And then, only think we had no
money; and then Frivolin came, and was very
much astonished, but he paid the bill ; — but I
cannot bear him. All the way he talked only to
Aunt Ottilie ; he never spoke to me at all ; and he
wanted to stop at every place we came to ; and
when at last I was ill, he was almost glad ; and we
were forced to stop here because it was serious he
said, and my state was cricketal, — so here we are
FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 21 5
Leopold muttered something between his teeth
which was, however, inaudible.
" Do not talk too much, my child,*' said he ;
** be a quiet and reasonable little patient. The
thermometer marks thirty-eight."
** Is that much ?"
"It is more than enough; and you shall have
the honor of lying down on this sofa. — So. — I
will cover you up. The lotion is come ; that is well.
There, is not that nice and cool ? I will wet the
handkerchief as often as you like. Lead lotion and
patience, that is all that is necessary.''
'* I will have patience, Leopold," said the child
sweetly, " I really will. You are so kind and so
** Good-bye for the present," said Leopold ;
and he went into the next room, following Ottilie
who had silently made her escape from hearing
Judica's confidences to Leopold.
" Fraulein Ottilie," he began in a low voice and
standing before her, " allow me a word with you.
I will make no allusion to — to what is past. But
one question — allow me to ask you one ques-
«< Yes — proceed," she whispered.
*' The child said something about a mystical
carriage. What can she have picked up ? — It is
2l6 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
most mysterious. — And what — what do you
know about it ?'*
" I had the same question on the tip of my
tongue," she replied. " I was just going to ask
you the very same thing. Though I am not sure
that I should dare to ask it. — Do not fix your
eyes on me in that way ; I am scarlet, I know. —
But in — in a letter — I came across the words
* mystical marriage ' — and I could not imagine
what it meant"
" I may assume," replied Leopold, looking
keenly in her face, " I will assume that it was the
writer of that letter who set out so unexpectedly
on account of that mystical marriage ?"
" You may assume it."
" And I am to solve the riddle ?"
" If you can ; I entreat you to do so."
" Fraulein Ottilie — every man. — But the lo-
tion ! — Excuse me a minute. — Here it is, my good
little patient, fresh and cool. Now try to think of
something pleasant, my little Judica, and keep as
quiet as you can. — She is very good and quiet, —
she seems sleepy."
" She did not sleep much in the night," re-
" Well, to proceed," Leopold went on, in the
lowest tones he could command, " But I cannot
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 21/
bear to see you standing ; I cannot talk if you do
not sit down. Here is a chair. — Every man is,
as a whole, made up of two halves — two very dis-
tinct halves : One masculine and one feminine.
Well and they are married to each other — that is
his mystical marriage."
Ottilie sat looking at him, and for some time
did not speak. Then she nodded her head several
times, but very slightly, almost imperceptibly.
" You understand me ?'*
** Yes, I understand you ?" she answered
" And you are not — not startled, not shocked.*'
She colored, but she smiled. " I wanted to get at
the truth," she murmured.
" You do not think the worse of me for the
" Certainly not ?"
" This mystical marriage, is, you see, a psycho-
logical phenomenon, neither more nor less ; of the
same order of ideas as my mystical betrothal. —
The lotion ! — Excuse me a minute — coming, my
little Judica. No, she is asleep. I wonder whether
it would wake her if I changed the handkerchief.
— No ; blessed sleep of childhood ! — We have
the best of coadjutors," he said in his low soothing
2l8 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
bass, as he returned to Ottilie. " Morpheus is
Ottilie looked at him in silent gratitude ; still,
her breath came fast and her heart beat quickly ;
her brain was in a whirl.
" But I have one more question to ask you,'^
she murmured, and she sat down again and glanced
up at his face. " Your mystical betrothal — what
sort of psychological phenomenon do you under-
stand by that? — A woman's curiosity, you will
think no doubt."
" Nay, do not say so. — What is there that I
would tell you ? — I would tell you anything. —
My mystical betrothal ? — I am, I believe, a cool,
sober-minded and unimaginative man, Fraulein
Ottilie ; but that makes no difference. Nature has
her way with us all — imaginings and vagaries of
her own. Now, in me, nature seeks to supply a
complementary half, since in me the feminine half
is wanting. The consequence is that the other —
the manly half — yearns for it, dreams of it. Yes,
in moments of solitude, he dreams of her. — And
then she comes. I feel that she is there ; I see
her, — I hear her, — we love each other. I feel,
on the one hand, my incomplete self, and on the
other, its complementary other half Its bride,
in short. That is my mystical betrothal ; — you
fridolin's mystical marriage. 219
understand that ? No, you do not under-
'' What should prevent my understanding it ?'*
said she, without looking at him.
" Well, it was a settled thing," he went on. He
tried to smile. " I believed in her. I thought : If
I ever meet with her we shall know each other at
once ; we shall simply complete each other ; —
and that I shall find her is certain. — Then came
that evening — laugh at me if you like — it mat-
ters not. — ^That evening in Berlin when I first saw
you. I could have sworn that you were she ; nay
I told you so, did I not ? And you thought me
an utter fool ; — very naturally. Indeed, not you
alone, I thought myself a fool. Then you left.
My other self, within myself, would insist that you
were she : it is she, — it is she. I set out to follow
you ; I — well, and then it all came out. — You
know all I have to tell you now, Fraulein Ottilie, —
so now let us talk of — the weather."
He rose and took a turn or two in the room
without looking at her ; then he went to the win-
dow. Ottilie did not move; she sat quite still
without speaking. At last he came away from
the window and went into the next room where
the little girl was still asleep. He came back again,
and still Ottilie had not stirred from the spot.
220 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
"She is sleeping cleverly," he said quietly.
^'But we still have some business to settle, Frau-
lein Ottilie. Ought not I to telegraph to — to the
professor, to tell him where you and Judica are."
" But where to ?" asked she. " I do not know
where he is."
" Well, to Berlin on the chance ; to his own
house. Do not you think so ?"
" To be sure. Do whatever you think right —
it is sure to be right."
** Then I have only the one more request to
make : and that is that you should go out for a
walk, out into the fresh air. You are looking
knocked up. — I speak as your medical adviser,"
he added, with a smile that he meant to be en-
couraging, but which was a rather solemn failure.
"Thank you," she said warmly. "But rest
would do me more good I believe. All last night
I — I slept badly. — Leave me to rest a little
" Then you must lie down, and shut your
eyes ; really rest. Here on this couch. . ."
'' And Judica ?"
" Am I not here ? I will divide myself be-
tween you, and watch alternately over the red,
red rose in the next room, and the white lily in
this. Forgive me ; it is a feeble joke, unworthy
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 221
of the occasion, and I am ashamed of myself.
The head it would seem is always weak when — '*'
the heart, he was going to say, but he checked
himself. He stood quite calmly before her and
went on without flinching :
"There is one thing more that I ought to
" And what is that ?"
" Frivolin, as it would seem, spent — paid
some money for you at Riva, and afterwards too^
of course. I have plenty, — enough. Would you
not rather that I should be your creditor, Fraulein
Ottilie ? You have only to tell me what he laid
out for you ; I will write him a note and send him
the amount — and his hat, which he left here —
by the waiter to his room."
" You are most kind," she said, half glad and
half horrified. " It was a burden on my soul —
but there is the account to make up."
" Have you no bills ?"
*' Oh. Yes ! Bills, and an account of every-
thing. But I must add it up . . ." and she laughed
a Httle helplessly, "at this minute my head is
quite incapable of an addition sum. I am much
too tired and stupid."
" If you would trust me to do it for you ? I
222 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
have forgotten my fractions, I am afraid, biit
simple addition and division I am still equal to.
Let me see you lie down to sleep ; remember that
for to-day I am prescribing for you. Will you
take it in that light, Fraulein Ottilie ?"
"Yes,** she murmured; and she put her little
note-book into his hand and submissively lay
down on the sofa. She bestowed on him one
weary and grateful look and then she closed her
eyes. Was it sleep that she longed for, or to be
alone with her own thoughts? — Who can tell.
After two or three attempts to arrange herself
comfortably, she lay quite still, as if she were
really asleep. Leopold looked at her for a while ;
then he stole on tip-toe to see Judica and moist-
ened the handkerchief He took off his boots,
and out of his bag he took a pair of soft slippers,
which he put on with much satisfaction. He did
the sum, wrote his note to Frivolin, and the tele-
gram, and noiselessly left the room with them —
and with Frivolin's hat.
When he came back he sat down to keep
watch. What was he thinking of? Who knows.
About every ten minutes he rose and went, quite
without a sound, to inspect Judica ; but, strangely
enough, he always came back into the other room.
At last it struck him that he must have done this
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 223
at least twenty or thirty times ; and besides the
silence around him, he became conscious of cry-
ing hunger within him. Still, there he sat, heroi-
cally immovable. He studied pathologically all
the phenomena of feeling that hunger gave rise
to; the reaction of the empty stomach on the
starved brain ; the highly-interesting process of
collapse, the hypersensitiveness of the superficial
nerves of the cranium — resulting in short, in a
*' One man's sleep cannot satisfy another
man's hunger,'.' thought he. "That is a fact that
needed no demonstration. My stomach is posi-
tively wriggling for food. — How still she is ! —
How sweet she looks ! She is she ; — why do I
try to convince myself that she is not. It is of no
use ; for she is sher
" Leopold !" was suddenly heard in Judica's
voice, which had recovered its cock-like crow. —
Ottilie woke with a start, and sat up.
'* What is that — what is the matter ?" she
exclaimed, still half-asleep.
" Nothing, but that the child is awake," an-
swered Leopold going into Judica's room. Otti-
lie got up and followed him. The little girl was
lying quite contentedly on the sofa, holding the
handkerchief to her face that it might not fall off;
224 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
but her eyes were wide-awake and bright, and she
welcomed Leopold with a merry nod.
" I say, Leopold," said she, " I think I have
been to sleep."
" And I know it," he replied, stroking her
" Do that again ; oh ! it is so comfortable. I
was dreaming just before I woke. A man came
in with a nasty little red moustache like Frivolin's,
and he looked at me very crossly, and told me
I was at eighty-eight degrees, and had a mystical
carriage ; and then I woke up." Ottilie laughed ;
Leopold only nodded as though the child had
said something very grave and shrewd ; then he
took off the hot dry handkerchief and wetted it
"The rose is beginning to fade," said he. "We
shall soon see our own little Judica again ; a little
more patience, that is all."
The little girl looked wistfully into his face ;
then she suddenly seized his right hand, which
hung by his side, and kissed it.
" What are you thinking of," he exclaimed.
" Oh ! you are so kind."
Ottilie, who was standing behind the young
man, murmured something, but too low for him
to catch what it was.
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 225
" And Aunt Ottilie is kind too/' added Judica.
"That I dare swear to," exclaimed Leopold.
** No, you must not swear ; no one should ever
swear. I say, Leopold — "
" Well, my child, what is it ?"
"My child, do you say? — but I will be your
child; I am your child now, — " and she laughed
happily. "You and Aunt Ottilie shall be my
papa and mamma.'*
"You think so? — '*
" Yes, really and truly. — But Leopold, why
have you no real Httle girls — of your own I
" Well, I am not married.'*
" But why do you not get married ?" Judica
looked very puzzled that Leopold did not answer;
he only once more stroked her hair. Nor did
Ottilie make any remark. She did not even stir,
the only thing she did was to fix her eyes on a
mirror that happened to stand close to her ; but
she did not gaze at her own image but at that of
Leopold. . . .
The sound of a bell broke the silence that had
fallen on the party. It was the hotel bell, calling
the guests to dinner. "Aha!" crowed Judica,
" Had we not better have something to eat
226 FRIDOLIN*S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
too ?'* asked Leopold, relieving his feeling by a
Ottilie nodded assent. " We will have dinner
up here, if you do not mind," she said. "That
is to say — I take it for granted, you see, that
you purpose remaining with us."
"How could I think of leaving you, till I
have seen you safe at home ?" he said simply.
"At home! — " she echoed in a low voice.
"At home ? Where I wonder ?" she added to her-
self. However, she controlled herself, and went
into the next room.
" I will ring," she said, " and order dinner; do
not disturb yourself."
" Leopold," whispered the child, as Ottilie
quitted them, and she looked up in the young
man's pale face, " Aunt Ottilie never gives you a
kiss. — Will you let me kiss you? — " and she
innocently put up her face. He smiled rather
ruefully ; but he raised her in his arms and kissed
her baby mouth.
The last rays of the setting sun were shining
into the room ; Ottilie was standing at the win-
dow — and the view must have had some extra-
ordinary charm for her, for she had been gazing
at it for a considerable time. Leopold was sitting
on the sofa, apparently absorbed in reading a
newspaper, over which he could look at her.
There was a knock at the door, and he went to
open it. The waiter was standing outside with a
letter in his hand.
*'\Vho is it for?'* asked Leopold.
" Ah ! that is just what we do not know,'* said
the man with a shrug and a significant smile.
*' It is addressed to Ottilius Ritter, Niirnberger
Hof, Leipzic. As Fraulein Ritter is here — Frau-
lein Ottilie Ritter, as she wrote it in the visitors'
book — that seems to fit."
'' Evidently ; give it to me."
"But it is not written Fraulein — nothing of
the kind ; and it is not written Ottilie, but OttiHus.
So you see that does not fit."
228 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
"But if it should turn out not to be for
Fraulein — '*
" Excuse me, but you see this Ottilius may
have been a slip of the pen ; an accident; perhaps
it ought to be Ottilie — then it would be right — **
" Certainly, and there can be no doubt — "
'* Excuse me ; but there is a doubt For
when you write to a lady, you address ' to Frau-
lein' — do you not? And if you are not writing
to a lady — "
" You write Herrn : and here there is neither
one nor the other; that too is a slip of the pen."
" It certainly looks like it," said the argumen-
tative waiter ; ** and as we have no other Ottilius
Ritter in the house, except the lady here — "
** Well then, give it me and have done with it
Good evening ! — "
Leopold took the letter and went up to Ottilie,
who was still standing at the window — spell-
bound by the view. Then, as he took the letter
to the light, he recognized the writing — Fridolin's
minute hand ! A cold shiver ran through the
hand that held it ; even over his face. But the
sensation vanished as swiftly as it had come.
" A letter for you," he said in his usual voice.
Ottilie also recognized the writing. " What will
she do now?" thought Leopold. — She shut her
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 229
eyes for a second, as she saw the familiar callig-
raphy, and pursed up her lips ; then she looked
attentively at the document, but she was evi-
dently thinking of something else.
" Herr Leopold," she said at last, " come here.
Read this letter with me if you please."
" The letter ! Read it with you ?"
"Yes, I particularly beg you to do so. We
will both read it together; — if you do not
mind. I will hold it so, up to the light ; can you
" Oh ! yes, I can see quite well," he murmured.
He was so agitated that he could scarcely speak*
They did not look at each other; he stck>d behind
her and read over her shoulder.
" My dear Ottilius." She looked round into
his face ; '' it is not for me," she said bewildered.
" But let us read a little further. . ."
" It is commonly considered a very unpracti-
cal proceeding — but it is in reality extremely
practical — to write to any one immediately before^
or immediately after meeting him face to face.
Until fate restores you, her loan, to me, once
more; — observe the careful punctuation:"
Ottilie smiled. ** It is not meant for me/' she
230 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
" But it is an enigma which we must know the
end of; must we not?"
She made no reply ; but she could not resist
reading on. ** I have sat down to write to you.
To-day is the first warm day we have had in Ger-
many ; some fools call it hot. What was I going
to say to you ? — The sight of the brush you used
here reminds me. It was this ; — Ottilius, when
you were brushing your hair with that brush, —
about two hours ago — you told me that the great
desire of your life was to devote yourself entirely
to the study of art, if you should find that you
had the talent for it. Your talent ! I will trust you
for that and more, Ottilius. I expect great things
of you. Nay, I demand great things of you.
Great things, and beautiful things — fate has given
you to me in the place of Leopold, the faithless-
one, who has deserted art to submit henceforth to
be led by the nose by nature, that arch-co-
quette. . .'* Leopold made a bow. "Yes, Ot-
tilius, you shall march under our standard, you
shall adopt my vocation, shall carry on my worlc^
and reap the fruits of my inheritance ; you are my
second self That was why, as you went down-
stairs, I called you my child ; once more I find I
have something in the world to live for : — ^you are
that something. Since fate bestowed you on me —
FRIDOLINS MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 23 1
lent you to me, I should say ; though I hope you
may remain mine — since then, Ottilius, I have
been a prouder man — and a more determined old
bachelor than ever. I have not yet told you, and
yet why should I not ? — that I was in love with
your sister. - It was a presentiment of my friend-
ship for you ; nothing more, believe me, Ot-
tilius. . .**
When Leopold had reached this point he could
keep still no longer ; he stepped a little distance
on one side so as to catch a glimpse, at least, of
Ottilie's face. Had she read as far as that ? —
Yes. Evidently, she had. She smiled ; and —
as it would seem — without any bitterness. She
nodded and smiled to herself. Then she answered
Leopold's enquiring gaze : " Now I understand it
all," she said, almost in a tone of amusement.
''This letter is to Ferdinand, to my brother; he
calls him Ottilius. This is the solution of the rid-
dle. — Oh dear ! what an absurd business !...**
" And shall we not read this epistle through
to the end ?" said Leopold anxiously. " Fraulein
Ottilie, what can it matter now ?" She made no
answer, but she read on.
" It was a presentiment of my friendship for
you ; and in you I have you both ; — only remain
my friend and the world can give me no more.
232 fridolin's mystical marriage.
" You wish, you say, — to study art I, you
say, am to be your master. Well, will you live in
my house ? Unless my brother returns to live
with me, half the house is at your disposal. The
brown room shall be yours. We can be quite in-
dependent, and the parrot room shall be neutral
ground on which we can always meet At the
same time you will never be obliged to enter it ;
there is a separate entrance to your room. Thus,
we might each die under the same roof, in per-
fect independence, without the other knowing any-
thing about it Find me any other house in Ber-
lin or the neighborhood, where you could do that
with half as much comfort
"•However, do just as you like about this.
Only come back, and you will see. Command,
and I obey. Anything for you, Ottilius.
" As soon as I hear from my clerical brother
at Neustadt . .
** P. S. Later ; here I was interrupted ; for an
hour or more. . .
" P. S. Later still. Interrupted again ; it is now
half-past eleven. My brother Philip is coming.
At this instant a telegram from Leipsic ; from
Leopold. Tis well ; as soon as Philip arrives we
are off on the next train but one to join you. We
shall meet again . . . The sky has not fallen, the
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 233
world is not yet come to an end. This letter is
only my advance gqard ; happier than I, for it will
see you first.
" Yours with open arms,
They had both read this effusion to the end,
and both remained silent.
** What can I say ?" thought Leopold.
At last he began : "Do you understand, Frau-
lein Ottilie, how this came to be sent here ?
Do you see your way in the matter any more than
I do ?'* She shook her head.
" Aunt Ottilie," called Judica softly from the
next room. Ottilie went to her. Leopold stayed
where he was. The extraordinary charms of the
prospect seemed to captivate him too ; for he went
to the window and stared out ; but what he saw
he neither knew nor cared. A vehement conver-
sation that was being carried on in the corridor
presently attracted his attention ; he could distin-
guish the voice of the argumentative waiter, alter-
nating with that of a younger and more energetic
speaker. Suddenly the door was thrown open : —
'* It seemed to agree in every respect," said the
waiter, evidently on the defensive. " You are an
utter. . .*' began the other and younger voice ; but
234 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
he swallowed down the abusive ending, and came^
not very gently, straight into the room.
"Sir!" he exclaimed, as soon as he saw Leo-
pold, " I never, never in all my life, heard of such
" And may I ask what, — "
*' What ? your whole conduct, sir, from begin-
ning to end. You — you — " he had to take
breath. — '* You force yourself on my sister as her
travelling-companion ; you drag her half round
the world, instead of bringing her home ; you
take a mean advantage of her position — " here
he again gasped for breath — "and at last, to
crown all, you take possession of a letter addressed
*' Ah ! then you are Fraulein Ottilie's brother?"
" Her brother ? yes, sir, her brother, as you
see ! and I take the liberty, sir, of telling you that
a gentleman. . . "
"Ferdinand!" cried Ottilie, who came from
the other room with Judica at her heels : " My-
dear brother, how came you here ?"
" I am not too late I trust," with the air of a
man who has no time to spare in greetings or
amenities of speech, and he glared at Leopold.
"I unfortunately got out at Bitterfeld, and then — "
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 235
and he spoke with intense bitterness — " I got
into the wrong train by niistake, and found myself
at Halle. From thence I came on here: — arriving
at six instead of at one. — Now, sir, I make no
ceremony with you : — Give me the stolen letter."
''Sir!" said Leopold: ''What, — who do you
take me for ? — "
" You — you are Frivolin — or whatever you
call yourself — Give me my letter."
" Good heavens !" cried Ottilie: "Do you take
this gentleman for Herr Frivolin ! This gentle-
man, — my excellent friend — my best friend.
What a mistake ! Nay, give him your hand, and
here is your letter; — forgive me, I have read it;
I will tell you presently why I did so. Take it and
smoothe out your noble brow and give me a kiss;
and now sit down and read it."
"My letter, — and you opened it?" However,
the young man could not keep up this lofty tone;
he caught sight of the first words: "My dear
Ottilius" and he could not help laughing with
pride and amusement ; he went closer to the win-
dow and read it.
"From Fridolin," he murmured; and then
only his lips moved as he went on. He soon was
so absorbed in deciphering his epistle that he
quite forgot where he was. He failed to observe
2^6 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
that Ottilie and Leopold had disappeared into
the other room, though little Judica still stood
gazing at him with astonished eyes ; he listened
neither to Leopold's subdued bass, nor to his
sister's whispers. . . .
"Yes, mein Fraulein."
** Do not speak to me so formally ; it sounds
so distant, so cold, so unnatural. I — I do not like
it. What an extraordinary day this has been;—
and what wonderful discoveries we have made,
and confessions; — and do you still think that I am
" God help me, Fraulein Ottilie ; — but I
cannot persuade myself that you are not !"
** Really !" she said in some confusion. " And
you have sacrificed your feelings to me all to-day,
and shall I do nothing in return ? — Your belief is
infectious, Herr Leopold. How is that, I wonder ?
I really begin to believe myself that I must be
she, — and that you are . . . leave go of my hand."
" I began to think so at Riva . . . why should
pride keep me from telling you so now ? After
your pathetic letter ; and a certain conscious feel-
ing came over me. . . . Oh ! what are you about ?
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 237
Do you think that I shall run away from you after
telling you this " — for she felt an arm round her
waist ; but the smile that had stolen over her face
"Ottilie, night and day I have firmly believed
that you were she; but now that you say so
yourself it seems impossible, incredible !" How-
ever, he seemed to believe it after all; for he
clasped her in his arms and held her in a close
embrace, as though it was his body and soul that
had been sundered and had at last found each
other, so that by some law of nature they might
never part again.
Meanwhile there was a slamming of doors, a
bustle of feet, and a confusion of voices just out-
side, in the passage. . .
" Aha ! and whom have we here ?" was the first
thing he heard when he discovered his work-a-day
wits. Ottilie started away from his side. In the
door- way stood Fridolin with little Judica pushing
her head in under his arm ; by him was Ferdinand,
and behind them a tall, long-haired, narrow-shoul-
dered figure. Ottilie could not help herself; she
was forced to blush once more.
'' Did I not tell you so as we were coming
along ?'* Fridolin went on. " Did I not tell you
238 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
that this quiet-mannered man — ^this naturalist . . ?
Say nothing, dear Leopold, I beg. Do not insult
my perspicacity by explaining, the moment I ar-
rive, the historical development of events. The
time I spent in the mail-train that brought me
here — three hours and five-and-twenty minutes-
has given me experience in rapid induction. —
Thank God ! that you are here Fraulein Ottilie,
safe and sound — alive and well — and happy.
Now, can you forgive me and my clerical brother
for the disasters of Riva ? Will you give us each
the right hand of friendship in spite of all our
blunders ?" She held out her hand and tried to
speak, not without emotion; but Pastor Philip,
whose mixed feelings of self-pity and self-sacrifice,
could find no adequate expression in silence, took
up the parable. '* My dear young lady,*' he began,
and as he spoke he sawed the air gently with his
hat, " we are but short-sighted mortals ; rarely
has it been given to me to feel as I do to-day.
That day, when I left my hat in your room — it
was of no consequence ; I did not need it in any
hurry — how little I guessed how and when and
where this would all end. It might have been :"
and his voice broke almost into a sob, " . . . o . . .
other — otherwise." He recovered himself and
went on. " It was not otherwise. God's will be
fridolin's mystical marriage. 239
done ! — I believe, my dear young lady, that you
are fully resigned this day to the supreme will to
which we all must bow ; you will say with me that
all philosophies, all human reason are vanity,
and. . ." and here he smiled — " that without re-
ligion we can never be more than a higher form of
"Amen!" said Fridolin. " I will neither argue
nor squabble to-day. Where is Ferdinand ?" —
He turned to the young man, who was silently
trying to account to himself for the meaning of
this scene. " During your absence I have already
made some little progress. With Aunt Ritter's
help I have set the brown room in order for you
to take possession. Child, I felt I must be doing
something for you, while I could not see you.
Will you ? . . ."
'* Will I ?" echoed Ferdinand, with frank en-
thusiasm. " Fridolin, my master and friend !"
** I am the happiest man alive," cried Fridolin,
** and all on my birthday too ! — Why do you
smile, Leopold, and shake your head ? Will you
dare to assert that you are happier than I ? — Well,
well, we will not quarrel about that. But tell me
one thing," — he went close up to Leopold, and
looked at him with great solemnity, while he
asked, in a low voice ; — "Is she she V
240 FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE.
** Yes, FridoHn, she is/' replied the young man
in the same tone and with equal gravity.
" Well then, we are of one mind,** said Frido-
Hn " My good friends,'* he continued, swallow-
ing down his emotion, " do not let us part; this is
my birthday ; it is besides a festal occasion ; — let
us stand in a group ! — There are several things
which we often meet with on the stage and never
in real life — to which I, for one, have, however,
tried to accustom myself in private, so that when
I see them on the stage they may not strike me
as so absurdly unnatural. Monologues for instance ;
I speak — to myself — in order that the actor may
be able to say that he really mirrors nature. —
And so let us stand in a group, as dramatic fitness
demands. A group that shall be emblematical of
what our lives shall be. Leopold and Ferdinand —
nature and art. — Philip and I — the heavenly and
the earthly. But you, Fraulein Ottilie, must be
the mediating angel between us. And when Leo-
pold marries — as why should he not — we will
find him quarters in the same street as our own at
Berlin. Will that do for you, Leopold ? He thinks
it will. I will telegraph all this latest intelligence
to the body-guard. There is still some good-for-
tune in the world after all. Well, well ; I must
abide by my mystical marriage."
FRIDOLIN'S MYSTICAL MARRIAGE. 241
" Mystical carriage is what you ought to say,
uncle," corrected Judica. "But, I say, why does
Aunt Ottilie go into the corner to give Leopold a
JUL 27 1920
CIjYTIA, — A Romance of the Sixteenth Century, by
George Taylor, from the German by Mary J. SafTord^
in one vol. Paper, 50 cts. Cloth, 90 cts.
" If report may be trusted * George Taylor,* though
writing in German, is an Englishman by race, and not
merely by the assumption of a pseudonym. The state-
ment is countenanced by the general physiognomy of
his novels, which manifest the artistic qualities in which
German fiction, when extending beyond the limits of a
short story, is usually deficient. * Antinous * was a re-
markable book ; * Clytia ' displays the same talent, and
is, for obvious reasons, much better adapted for general
circulation. Notwithstanding its classical title, it is a
romance of the post Lutheran Reformation in the sec-
ond half of the sixteenth century. The scene is laid
in the Palatinate ; the hero, Paul Laurenzano, is, like
John Inglesant, the pupil, but, unlike John Inglesant,
the proselyte and emissary, of the Jesuits, who send him
to do mischief in the disguise of a Protestant clergy-
man. He becomes confessor to a sisterhood of re-
formed nuns, as yet imperfectly detached from the old
religion, and forms the purpose of reconverting them.
During the process, however, he falls in love with one
of their number, the beautiful Clytia, the original, Mr.
Taylor will have it, of the lovely bust in whose genuine-
ness he will not let us believe. Clytia, as is but reason-
able, is a match for Loyola; the man in Laurenzano
overpowers the priest, and, after much agitation of
various kinds, the story concludes with his marriage. It
is an excellent novel from every point of view, and, like
* Antinous ' gives evidence of superior culture and
though tfulness.'* — The London Saturday Review,
William S, Gottsberger^ Publisher^ New York.
TRAFALGAR. -A Tale, by B. Perez Galdds, from
the Spanish by Clara Bell, in one vol. Paper, 50 cents.
Cloth, 90 cents.
" This is the third story by Gald6s in this series, and
it is not inferior to those which have preceded it,
ahhough it differs from them in many particulars, as
it does from most European stories with which we are
acquainted, its interest rather depending upon the action
with which it deals than upon the actors therein. To
subordinate men to events is a new practice in art, and if
Galdos had not succeeded we should have said that
success therein was impossible. He has succeeded
doubly, first as a historian, and then as a novelist, for
while the main interest of his story centres in the
great sea-fight which it depicts — the greatest in which
the might of England has figured since her destruction
of the Grand Armada — there is no lack of interest in
the characters of his story, who are sharply individual-
ized, and painted in strong colors. Don Alonso and his
wife Dofia Francisca — a simple-minded but heroic old
sea-captain, and a sharp-minded, shrewish lady, with a
tongue of her own, fairly stand out on the c^nyas.
Never before have the danger and the doom of battle
been handled with such force as in this spirited and
picturesque tale. It is thoroughly characteristic of the
writer and of his nationality." — TAe Mail and Express^
William S. Gottsberger^ Publisher^ New l^ork.
MARIANELA.— By B. Perez 6ald6s9 from the Spanish
by Clara Bell, in one vol. Paper, 50 cts. Cloth, 90 cts.
''Galdos is not a novelist, in the sense that now attaches to
that much-abused word, but a romancer, pure and simple, as
much so as Hawthorne was, though his intentions are less spir-
itual, and his methods more material. Marianela is the story
of a poor, neglected outcast of a girl, an orphan who is tolerated
by a family of miners, as if she were a dog or a cat ; who is
fed when the humor takes them and there is any food that can
be spared, and who is looked down upon by evervbody ; and a
boy Pablo, who is older than she, the son of a well-to-do landed
proprietor, whose misfortune it is (the boy's, we mean) that
ne was born blind. His deprivation of sight is almost supplied
by the eyes of Marianela, who waits upon him, and goes with
him in his daily wanderings about the mining country of Socartes,
until he knows the whole country by heart and can when need
is find his way everywhere alone. As beautiful as she is homely,
he forms an ideal of her looks, based upon her devotion to
him, colored by his sensitive, spiritual nature, and he loves her,
or what he imagines she is, and she returns his love — ^with fear
and trembling, for ignorant as she is she knows that she is not
what he believes her to be. They love as two children might,
naturally, fervently, entirely. The world contains no woman so
beautiful as she, and he will marry her. The idyl of this 3ronng
love is prettily told, with simplicity, freshness, and something
which, if not poetry, is yet poetic. While the course of true love
is running smooth with them (for it does sometimes in spite of
Shakespeare) there appears upon the scene a brother of the chief
engineer of the Socartes mines who is an oculist, and he, after a
careful examination of the blind eyes of Pablo, undertakes to per-
form an operation upon them which he thinks may enable the lad
to see. About thus time there also comes upon the scene a brother
of Pablo's father, accompanied by his daugnter, who is very beau-
tiful. The operation is successful, and Pablo is made to see. He
is enchanted with the loveliness of his cousin, and disenchanted of
his ideal of Marianela, who dies heart-broken at the fate which
she knew would be hers if he was permitted to see her as she was.
This is the story of Marianela, which would have grown into a
poetic romance under the creative mind and shaping hand of
Hawthorne, and which, as conceived and managed by Gald6s, is
a realistic one of considerable grace and pathos. It possesses the
charm of directness and simplicity of narrative, is written with
great picturesqueness, and is colored throughout with impressions
of Spanish country life." — TAe Mail ana Express, New VprJk,
Thursday y April 12, 1883.
William S, Gottsbcrgcr, Publisher, New York,
GLORIA. — A NOVEL, by B. Perez Gald6s9 from the
Spanish by Clara Bell, m two vols. Paper, $l.oo, Cloth, $1.75
" B. Perez Galdos is like a whirlwind, resistless as he sweeps
everything before him, while beneath, the waters of passion foam
and heave and are stirred to their depths. Some chapters of this
novel are absolutely agonizing in their intensity of passion, and
the surge and rush of words bears the reader along breathless and
terrified, till he finds himself almost ready to cry out. In others,
the storm is lulled and the plash of waves is as musical as the
author's native tongue. In others still, he drones through the
lazy summer day, and the reader goes to sleep. However, the
story as a whole is stormy, and the end tragic ; yet we are lost in
wonder at the man who can so charm us.
"It is throughout a terrible impeachment of religious intoler-
ance. If it had been written for a people possessing the temper
of Englishmen or of Americans we should say that it must mark
an epoch in the political and religious history of the country. Even
written as it is by a Spaniard, and for Spaniards, allowing as we
must for Spanish impulsiveness and grandiloquence, which says a
great deal to express a very little, we cannot but believe that the
work is deeply significant. It is written by a young man and one
who is rapidly rising in power and influence ; and when he speaks
it is with a vehement earnestness which thrills one with the con-
viction that Spain is awaking. * Fresh air,' cries he, of Spain,
* open air, free exercise under every wind that blows above or be-
low ; freedom to be dragged and buflfeted, helped or hindered, by
all the forces that are abroad. Let her tear off her mendicant's
hood, her grave-clothes and winding-sheet, and stand forth in the
bracing storms of the century. Spain is like a man who is ill from
sheer apprehension, and cannot stir for blisters, plasters, bandages
and wraps. Away with all this paraphernalia, and the body will
recover its tone and vigor.' Again : * Rebel, rebel, your intelli-
gence is your strength. Rise, assert yourself; purge your eyes of
the dust which darkens them, and look at truth face to face.'
Strange language this for Spain of the Inquisition, for bigoted,
unprogressive. Catholic Spain. The author goes to the root of
Spanish decadence ; he fearlessly exposes her degradation and de-
clares its cause. All students of Spanish history will find here
much that is interesting besides the story." — The Yale Literary
William S. Gottsbergcr, Publisher, New York,
PBUSIAS. — A Romance of Ancient Rome under the Republic,
by Krnst EiCksteiliy from the German by Clara BelL
Authorized edition. In two vols. Paper, $i.oo. Cloth, $1.75.
** The date of • Prusias ' is the latter half of the first century
B. C. Rome is waging her tedious war with Mithridates. There
are also risings in Spain, and the home army is badly depleted.
Prusias comes to Capua as a learned Armenian, the tutor of a
noble pupil in one of the aristocratic households. Each member
of this circle is distinct. Some of the most splendid traits of
human nature develop among these grand statesmen and their
dignified wives, mothers, and daughters. The ideal Roman maiden
is i*syche ; but she has a trace of Greek blood and of the native
gentleness. Of a more interesting type is Fannia, who might,
minus her slaves and stola, pass for a modern and saucy New York
beauty. Her wit, spirit, selfishness, and impulsive magnanimity
might easilv have been a nineteenth-century evolution. In the
family to wnich Prusias comes are two sons, one of military lean-
ings, the other a student. Into the ear of the latter Prusias whis-
pers the real purpose of his coming to Italy. He is an Armenian
and in league with Mithridates for the reduction of Roman rule.
The unity which the Senate has tried to extend to the freshly-con-
quered provincei of Italy is a thing of slow growth. Prusias by
his strategy and helped by Mithridates's gold, hopes to organize
slaves and disaffected provincials into a force which will oblige
weakened Rome to mate terms, one of which shall be complete
emancipation and equality of every man before the law. His har-
angues are in lofty strain, and, save that he never takes the coarse,
belligerent tone of our contemporaries, these speeches might have
been made by one of our own Abolitionists. The one point that
Prusias never forgets is .personal dignity and a regal consideration
for his friends. But after all, this son of the gods is befooled by
a woman, a sinuous and transcendently ambitious Roman belle,
the second wife of the dull and trustful prefect of Capua; for
this tiny woman had all men in her net whom she found it useful
to have there.
"The daughter of the prefect — hard, homely-featured, and hat-
ing the supple stepmother with an unspeakable hate, tearing her
beauty at last like a tigress and so causing her death — is a repul-
sive but very strong figure. The two brothers who range them-
selves on opposite sides in the servile war make another unforget-
table picture; and the beautiful slave Ikenna, who follows her
noble lover into camp, is a spark of light against the lurid back-
ground. The servile movement is combined with the bold plans
of the Thracian Spartacus. He is a good figure and perpetually
surprises us with his keen foresight and disciplinary power.
"The book is stirring, realistic in the even German way, and
full of the fibre and breath of its century." Boston Ev'g Transcript,
QUIMT^S CLAUDIUS. — A Romance of Imperial Rome,
by Ernst Kekstein, trom the German by Clara Bell, in
two vols. Paper, $i.oo. Cloth, $1.75.
"We owe to Eckstein the brilliant romance of 'Quintas
Claudius,* which Clara liell has done well to translate for us, for
it is worthy of place beside the Emperor of Ebers.and the Aspasia
of Hamerling. It is a story of Rome in the reign of Donutian,
and the most noted characters of the time figure in its pages,
which are a series of picturesque descriptions of Roman life and
manners in the imperial city, and in those luxurious retreats at
Baiae and elsewhere to which the wealthy Romans used to retreat
from the heats of summer. It is full of stirring scenes in the
streets, in the palaces, in the temples, and in the amphitheatre,
and the actors therein represent every phase of Roman character,
from the treacherous and cowardly Domitian and the vile Domitia
down to the secret gatherings of the new sect and their exit from
life in the blood-soaked sands of the arena, where they were torn
in pieces by the beasts of the desert. The .life and the manners
of all classes at this period were never painted with a bolder
pencil than by Eckstein in this masterly romance, which displays
as much scholarship as invention." — Mail and Express^ N, K
** These neat volumes contain a story first published in German.
It is written in that style which Ebers has cultivated so success-
fully. The pkce is Rome ; the time, that of Domitian at the end
of the first century. The very careful study of historical data, is
evident from the notes at the foot of nearly every page. The
author attempted the difficult task of presenting in a single story
the whole life of Rome, the intrigues of that day which compassea
the overthrow of Domitian, and the deep fervor and terrible trials
of the Christians in the last of the general persecutions. The
court, tlie army, the amphitheatre, the catacombs, the evil and
the good of Roman manhood and womanhood — all are here.
And the work is done with power and success. It is a book for
every Chris tirn and for every student, a book of lasting value,
bringing more than one nation under obligation to its author."—
New Jems a lent Magazine^ Boston, Mass.
\^ A new /Romance cf Ancient Times/ The success of Ernst
Eckstein's new novel, * Quintus Claudius,* which recently ap-
peared in Vienna, may fairly be called phenomenal, critics and the
public unite in praising the work." — Grazer Morgenpost,
** 'Quintus Claudius* is a finished work of art, capable of
bearing any analysis, a literary production teeming with instruc-
tion and interest, full of plastic forms, and rich in the most dra-
matic changes of mood." — Pester Lloyd,
Willia7n S, Gottsberger^ Publisher^ New York.
A GRAVEYARD FL.OWER. — By WiUielmine
von Hillem, from the German by Clara Bell, in one
vol, Paper, 40 cts. Cloth, 75 cts.
" The pathos of this story is of a type too delicate
to be depressing. The tale is almost a poem, so fine is
its imagery, so far removed from the commonplace.
The character of Marie is merely suggested, and yet
she has a most distinct and penetrating individuality.
It is a fine piece of work to place, without parade or
apparent intention, at the feet of this ideal woman, three
loves so widely different from each other. There is
clever conception in the impulse that makes Marie turn
from the selfish, tempestuous love of the Count, and
the generous, holy passion of Anselmo, to the narrower
but nearer love of Walther, who had perhaps fewer
possibihties in his nature than either of the other two.
The quality of the story is something we can only de-
scribe by one word — spirituelle. It has in it strong
suggestions of genius coupled with a rare poetic feel-
ing, which comes perhaps more frequently from Ger-
many than from anywhere else. The death of Marie
and the sculpture of her image by Anselmo, is a passage
of great power. The tragic end of the book does not
come with the gloom of an unforeseen calamity; it
leaves with it merely a feeling of tender sadness, for it
is only the fulfilment of our daily expectations. It is in
fact the only end which the tone of the story would
render fitting or natural." — Godefs Ladfs Book,
William S. Gottsberger, Publisher, New York,
ERNESTINE, — A Novel, by Wilhelmine von HiU-
em, from the German by S. Baring-Gould, in two vols.
Paper, 80 cts. Cloth, $1.50.
" * Ernestine' is a work of positive genius. An English critic
has likened the conception of the heroine in her childhood to
George Eliot's Maggie Tulliver, and truly there is a certain resem-
blance ; but there is in the piece a much stronger suggestion of
George Eliot's calm mastery of the secret springs of human
action, and George Eliot's gift of laying bare the life of a human
soul, than of likeness between particular characters or sittlations
here and those with which we are familiar in George Eliot's
works." — Ne^v York Evening Post.
THE HOUR WILL. COME,— A Tale of an Alpine
Cloister, by Wilhelmine von Hillern, from the Ger-
man by Clara Bell, in one vol. Paper, 40 cts. Cloth, 75 cts.
**^Tke Hour Will Come'' is the title of a translation by
Clara Bell from the German original of Wilhelmine von Hillern,
author of that beautiful romance * Geier- Wally. ' *The Hour
Will Come' is hardly less interesting, its plot being one of the
strongest and most pathetic that could well be imagined. The time
k the Middle Ages, and Frau von Hillern has achieved a remark-
able success in reproducing the rudeness, the picturesqueness and
the sombre coloring of those days. Those who take up *The
Hour Will Come' will not care to lay it down again until they
have read it through." — Baltimore Gazette.
HIGHER THAN THE CHURCH,— An Art Legend
of Ancient Times, by Wilhelmine von Hillern, from
the German by Mary J. SafTord, in one vol. Paper, 25 cts.
Cloth, 50 cts.
** Mary J. Safford translates acceptably a very charming short
story from the German of Wilhelmine von Hillern. If it was not
told by the sacristan of Breisach, it deserves to have been. It has
the full flavor of old German and English love tales, such as have
been crystallized in the old ballads. The Emperor, the gifted
boy, his struggles with the stupidity of his townsmen, his ap-
parently hopeless love above him ; these form the old delight ml
scene, set in a Diireresque border. There are touches here and
there which refer to the present. The sixteenth century tale has
a political moral that will appeal to Germans who believe that
Alsatia, once German in heart as well as in tongue, ought to be
held by force to the Fatherland till she forgets her beloved
France." — N. Y. Times.
William S. Gottsberger, Publisher, New York.
FEUCITAS. —A Romance, by Felix Dahn, from the Ger-
man by Mary J. Safford, in one voL Paper cover, 50 cts.
Cloth binding, 90 cts.
**The writer of this story was long ago, the reader is told,
employed in the archives, libraries, and mnseoms of Roman anti-
quities at Saltzburg, as a student of the events and incidents, his-
torical and otherwise, which he has here skillfuUv interwoven with
romance. It is a tale of invasion, when, far back in the fifth cen-
tury, the Teutons pressed their way into the provinces of Rome,
ana, driving her garrison forth, established themselves there; and
if as touching and delightful to the German as to the American,
the author has not written in vain. His genius is not of the
stormy type, but rather of that order which sees infinite grace and
beauty in a fireside picture, glowing with domestic peace and
harmony ; and that this is made so evident in the portrayal of a
warlike scene, demanding highly sustained dramatic action, is all
the greater proof of his power. To recall the deities of Teutonic
mythology from their grave-clothes and make them entertaining
is extremely difficult in a historical novel, where narration also
must be slightly cumbersome at the best. Yet in this respect
Dahn is scarcely less successful than his scholarly predecessor.
Ebers is, perhaps, inimitable for his knowledge of antiquity and
almost Shakspearean richness of monologue, but the style of
Dahn is more graceful, and he appeals less to mythology and sa-
perstition. Stately and antique titles are forgotten in parsaing
the absorbing motive, so charmingly bodied forth at the outset in
the inscription on the slab exhumed by the author from the ruins
of an ancient Alpine villa :
Hie habitat Felicitas
Nihil mali intret !
" A word of praise is also due the translator for the easy and
natural rendering of the native language. Even to one not ac-
quainted with German it cannot but be evident that Miss Safford
has brought to her task a highly refined literary sense.*' — Yale
** * Felicitas,' by Felix Dahn, is one of the latest examples of
the skill and grace with which these tales are written, it having,
however, less history and more fiction than is usual with works of
this class. It is an idylic story of the advent of the Gauls into the
Roman provinces, with a cleverly constructed plot, well worked
out, and having the very tangible merit of ending pleasantly." —
** Dahn's dramatic instinct and power are unquestionable, and
his presentation of detail accurate." — The Nation, N. Y,
ASP ASIA, — A Romance, by Robert Hainerliiig, from
the German by Mary J. Safford, in two vols. Paper, $i.oo.
** We have read his work conscientiously, and, we confess, with
profit. Never have we had so clear an insight into the manners,
thoughts, and feelings of the ancient Greeks. No study .has made
us so familiar with the age of Pericles. We recognize throughout
that the author is master of the period of which he treats. More-
over, looking back upon the work from the end to the beginning,
we clearly perceive in it a complete unity of purpose not at all
evident during the reading."
** Hamerling's Aspasia, herself the most beautiful woman in
all Hellas, is the apostle of beauty and of joyousness, the im-
placable enemy of all that is stern and harsh in life. Unfortunately,
morality is stern, and had no place among Aspasia's doctrines.
This ugly fact, Landor has thrust as far into the background as
possible. Hamerling obtrudes it. He does not moralize, he
neither condemns nor praises ; but like a fate, silent, passionless,
and resistless, he carries the story along, allows the sunshine for
a time to silver the turbid stream, the butterflies and gnats to flut-
ter above it in rainbow tints, and then remorselessly draws over
the landscape gray twilight. He but follows the course of
history; yet the absolute pitilessness with which he does it is
almost terrible." — Extracts from Revinv in Yale Literary
•' No more beautiful chapter can be found in any book of this
age than that in which Pericles and Aspasia are described as visit-
ing the poet Sophocles in the garden on the bank of the Cephis-
sus." — Utica Momi7tg Herald,
♦'It is one of the great excellencies of this romance, this lofty
song of the genius of the Greeks, that it is composed with perfect
artistic symmetry in the treatment of the diffierent parts, and from
the first word to the last is thoroughly harmonious in tone and
coloring. Therefore, in * Aspasia,' we are given a book, which
could only proceed from the union of an artistic nature and a
thoughtful mind — a book that does not depict fiery passions in
dramatic conflict, but with dignified composure, leads the conflict
therein described to the final catastrophe." — A llgemeine Zeitung.
William S. Gottsberger, Publisher, New York.
THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT,— A Romance
by Aiitou Oiulio Harrili, frum the Italian by Qara
Bell, in one vol. Paper, 50 cts. Cloth, 90 cts.
** If Italian literature includes any more such unique and
charming stories as this one, it is to be hoped that translators will
not fail to discover them to the American public. The * Eleventh
Commandment ' deals with a variety of topics — the social intrigues
necessary to bring about preferment in political life, a communal
order, an ndveulurous unconventional heiress, and her acquiescent,
good-natured uncle, and most cleverly are the various elements
combined, the whole forming an excellent and diverting little storv.
The advent of a modern Eve in the masculine paradise (?) estab-
lished at the Convent of San Bruno is fraught with weighty con-
sequences, not only to the individual members of the brotherhood,
but to the well-being of the community itself. The narrative of
JVl'lle Adela's adventures is blithely told, and the moral deducible
therefrom for men is that, on occasion, flight is the surest method
of combating temptation." — Art Interchange, New York,
"Very entertaining is the story of * The Eleventh Command-
ment,' ingeniously conceived and very cleverly executed." — The
Critic, N'ew York.
A WHIMSICAL WOOING. — By Anton Giulio
Barrili, from the Italian by Clara Bell, in one vol. Paper,
25 cts. Cloth, 50 cts.
**If *The Eleventh Commandment,' the previous work of
Barrili, was a good three-act play, * A Whimsical Wooing' is a
sparkling comedietta. It is one situation, a single catastrophe, yet,
like a bit of impressionist painting of the finer sort, it reveals m a
flash all the possibilities of the scene. The hero, Roberto Fenoglio,
a man of wealth, position, and accomplishments, finds himself at
the end of his resources for entertainment or interest. Hopelessly
bored, he abandons himself to the drift of chance, and finds him-
self, in no longer space of time than from midnight to daylight —
where and how, the reader will thank us for not forestalling his
pleasure in finding out for himself." — The N^ation^ New York,
** 'A Whimsical Wooing' is the richly-expressive title under
which * Clara Bell ' introduces a cleverly-narrated episode by
Anton Giulio Barrili to American readers. It is a sketch of Italian
life, at once rich and strong, but nevertheless discreet in sentiment
and gracefiil in diction. It is the old story of the fallacy of trust-
ing to a proxy in love matters." — Boston Post.
William S. Gottsbergery Publiskery New York,